President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, known for his strongman politics, watched Tuesday as a bulldozer crushed $1.2 million worth of illegally-imported vehicles with a bulldozer.
“This kind of racket has been going on again and again and again,” Duterte told reporters. “Well, it has to stop.”
To celebrate the 116th anniversary of the founding of the Bureau of Customs, 20 smuggled vehicles were bulldozed at the Bureau Tuesday. Another 10 were destroyed at the ports of Davao and Cebu. The crushed cars included Lexuses, BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, Jaguars, and other luxury vehicles, according to a statement from the Bureau of Customs.
“Reduce them to scrap metal,” Duterte told customs employees, referring to the smuggled vehicles.
Duterte is notorious for his aggressive approach to criminal activity, as his war on drugs has ended the lives of thousands of Filipinos. The Philippine president stands accused of running death squads and even personally killing people. He has admitted to shooting criminals, claiming to have shot people and thrown a corrupt official from a helicopter.
The 72-year-old president is also well known for his foul-mouthed rhetoric, such as when he called former President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and told him that “he could go to hell.”
Some observers pointed out that the vehicles could be auctioned off, as is standard procedure. “I will pay for them, no problem,” Duterte said in response to such criticisms.
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