By: Manila Times/Santa Ana, Cagayan – August 01, 2018
President Rodrigo Duterte inspects smuggled luxury vehicles before its destruction in Santa Ana, Cagayan yesterday.
President Rodrigo Duterte attended the crushing of 68 imported luxury cars and eight bikes worth P297.52mn at Port Irene.
The luxury cars included nine Mercedez Benz, seven BMW, five Porsche, 13 Nissan, one Jaguar, 10 Toyota, two Ford, one Lamborghini (Gallardo), two Mazda, three Hyundai, and a Honda, while the eight big bikes include Harley Davidson, Triumph and Chopper.
Raul Lambino, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) administrator and chief executive officer, said the vehicles had not been included in the first set of contraband vehicles seized by the authorities.
On March 14, Duterte also witnessed the destruction of 14 luxury vehicles worth over P80mn at Port Irene.
“This exercise has shut the door permanently on the port’s dark history as an entry point for contraband cars,” Lambino said.
CEZA official said the vehicles were part of the more than 800 contraband vehicles brought into the province via Port Irene despite a government ban on their import.
He said the destruction of the contraband vehicles in special economic zones is in compliance with the president’s directive which serves as a strong warning to smugglers.
“This will send a strong message that CEZA does not, and will never again tolerate, condone or encourage smuggling or wrongdoing of any kind at the Cagayan freeport,” Lambino said.
The rest of the vehicles included passenger vans, SUVs, mini-wagons and sedans, all parked in a five-hectare yard at Port Irene in Barangay Casambalangan.
Lambino said the less expensive crushed cars will be given to the town’s co-operatives and interested organisations while high-end cars will be used as a reminder in a “Monumento ng Pagbabago” (monument of change) to those who intend to illegally import vehicles.
Meanwhile, to boost the CEZA as economic hub in the country and southeast Asia, Lambino said he had presented five major projects to the president that will be undertaken this year.
The projects include the establishment of a commercial centre, building of a financial technology hub, construction of a landfill to address the issue on solid waste management, construction of a warehouse and rehabilitation of the San Vicente seaport in the town.
Featured image from Gulf Times é