MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, who often oversees destruction of illegally imported vehicles in a bid to stop smuggling, wants to give seized Hummer vehicles to the police and the military.
In a speech Tuesday night, Duterte said that 10 Hummers and vans were not destroyed during the condemnation of around P297 million in smuggled luxury cars and motorcycles at the Port Irene free port in Sta. Ana, Cagayan Monday.
The president said the Hummer vehicles, the civilian version of the M998 “Humvee” utility vehicle, should just be distributed to the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“I said do not destroy [these] because I’ll give [these] to the military and the police for their use,” Duterte said.
“So you’ll have Hummers. We’ve been wanting those for so long,” he added in Filipino.
The Armed Forces actually have at least 23 “Humvees”, which are used as ambulances, according to an AFP press release in January 2015.
The chief executive also said that the vans will be given to Cagayan towns and cities.
Among those destroyed last Monday were nine Mercedes-Benzes, seven BMWs, five Porsches, 11 Nissan Fairladys, two Nissan Skylines, a Jaguar ST, 10 Toyota cars, two Ford Mustangs, one Lamborghini Gallardo, two Mazdas, three Hyundais and two Honda sports cars.
Eight Harley Davidsons, two “Choppers” and a Triumph were also crushed by a bulldozer.
Last February, Duterte said that he would no longer allow the auction of smuggled luxury cars as this was being taken advantage of by importers to skirt paying the right amount of custom duties. Instead, he wants all of them destroyed.