You might want to look away if you’re a car enthusiast, as the Philippine government crushed more than a dozen luxury, sports and classic vehicles, including a BMW Z1, Porsche 911 GT3, Mercedes SL55AMG and G-Class, Renault 5 Turbo, Opel Manta, and Maserati Quattroporte.
The cringe worthy scene that took place at Port Irene on Wednesday is part of the country’s aggressive public campaign to deter illegal vehicle imports, and follows the destruction of $1.2 million worth of smuggled cars at the Bureau of Customs in Manilla in February.
Overseen by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and captured on public TV, a bulldozer and a backhoe destroyed 14 cars in total, with the government estimating their worth at P27.2 million, or about $525,000 / €425,000 at today’s rates.
“We reaffirm our commitment to build a country free from the shackles of corruption,” said Duterte during the televised event. “This condemnation of these smuggled vehicles demonstrates our firm stand to put an end to a longstanding societal disease that has eroded public trust and tainted the government’s sincerity to deliver equitable social services.”
These 14 cars are just the beginning, as the administration plans to destroy another 841 smuggled vehicles (and some motorcycles), including Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and Porsches, impounded in Port Irene.
According to local reports, these cars were deliberately abandoned at the port without paying customs duties so that an importer could repurchase them at a lower price from government auctions. However, in 2013, the Bureau of Customs stopped the process with a court ruling that made this kind of importation scheme illegal.