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Security forces should use seized vehicles for intel ops — Lacson

By: Gaea Katreena Cabico

MANILA, Philippines – Instead of destroying smuggled luxury vehicles, why not just distribute them to the police and the military for their use?

A contraband Lamborghini luxury car is turned into a pile of wreckage after it was subjected to condemnation and public destruction at Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan on July 30, 2018. A total of 68 contraband luxury vehicles worth over P277 million and eight contraband luxury motorbikes worth over P19 million were destroyed as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against smuggling and corruption in the government. -Presidential photo/Robinson Niñal Jr.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson made this point Wednesday, saying seized illegally imported cars and motorcyles can be used by the security forces for their surveillance and covert operations.

Lacson said that no one would suspect that a surveillance team is inside a roaming luxury car.

“If people see Mahindra cars or an Innova, it will be easy for them to know that these are police cars. It would be better to confuse criminals by using Porsche, Ferrari, Harley Davidson,” the former Philippine National Police chief said in Filipino.

He added: “I just hope the president considers destroying these government properties after all.”

When asked if using luxury vehicles would cost more for the government, Lacson responded that it would be “cost effective” if used in intelligence operations.

“We are spending million on intel funds, a little gas for Ferrari won’t hurt,” he said in Filipino.

The senator made the statement two days after President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would give to the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines seized Hummer vehicles that were supposed to be crushed by bulldozer during his visit at Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan Monday.

Around P297 million in smuggled luxury cars and motorcycles were destroyed. Among those condemned were Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, Porsches, Mustangs, Harley Davidsons and a Lamborghini Gallardo.

Duterte said destroying luxury vehicles would prevent syndicates and smugglers from buying them at a lower price during an auction.

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