President Duterte has spared at least 10 smuggled Hummers from being crushed and plans to give them to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
He revealed the plan a day after witnessing the crushing of nearly P300 million worth of smuggled vehicles in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
In a speech late Tuesday night, Duterte said revealed that he had ordered not to destroy at least 10 smuggled Hummer vehicles that were seized by the government because he plans to distribute them to government security forces.
“Was it 14 or… I’m sure I heard more than 10. I could not exactly remember what was the figure. But I said do not destroy it because I’ll give it to the military and the police for their use,” he said.
“Para naka-Hummer na kayo. Kami ilang taon na namin ‘yan naglalaway-laway kami hindi kami maka (So that you will be using Hummers. We have been drooling over that for years but we can’t get them),” he added.
Duterte also said that he will also give smuggled vans to the local government of Cagayan.
“Tapos ‘yung mga vans (And then the vans), because they are within the vicinity of the local governments, Cagayan ‘yan eh. Eh ‘di paghati-hatian na lang nila doon kung aabot (that’s in Cagayan, just split it among yourselves),” he said.
It has been Duterte’s policy to publicly destroy smuggled vehicles, and not to auction them off, to discourage smugglers. He believes that car smugglers still get profits from selling seized cars.
Malacañang had earlier said that even if there were suggestions to put smuggled vehicles to good use, Duterte has already made up his mind to just destroy them.
“Nagdesisyon na po si Presidente na iparating sa mga smugglers ang mensahe na tapos na ang kanilang mga maliligayang araw, ibu-bulldozer po iyan (The President has already decided to send a message to smugglers that their happy days are up, we will bulldoze those cars),” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said last February.
On Monday, Duterte led the public destruction of 68 luxury vehicles and eight high-end motorcycles in Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
Duterte explained that he is destroying the smuggled vehicles because he wants to create an environment where businesses could thrive.
“You know, before a place can really be developed or a viable place to do business, you have to establish first law and order,” he said.
The 68 luxury sedans worth P277,961,760 and eight big bikes valued at P19,567,350 are the second batch of expensive vehicles to be destroyed at Port Irene following public destruction of 14 luxury cars last March.
The expensive cars and motorbikes were part of 800 contraband vehicles imported in Cagayan through the port.
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