By Freddie G. Lazaro
STA. ANA, Cagayan – Only days after the destruction of 14 luxury vehicles worth over P80 million at Port Irene, CEZA has scheduled 841 other vehicles to undergo the same.
According to Secretary Raul L. Lambino, CEZA administrator and CEO, these include a late model Lamborghini and several Porches, Hummers, Mercedes Benz, BMWs, Land Cruisers, Mustangs, Alphards, Pajeros, Harley Davidson big bikes and hundreds of utility vans.
“This will send a strong message that CEZA does not, and will never again, tolerate or condone or encourage smuggling or wrongdoing of any kind at the Freeport,” said Lambino.
Earlier, Lambino said they are “shutting the doors permanently” on Port Irene being an entry point for contraband vehicles as President Rodrigo Duterte and officials of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority watched a bulldozer and a backhoe roll over two rows of luxury cars, which were brought into the country a few years ago despite a government ban on their importation.
The vehicles included a Porsche 911 GT3, Maserati Quattro Porte, BMW Alpina B12, BMW Z1, Opel Manta, one Renault R5 and eight Mercedes Benzes.
The CEZA Board decided to destroy the impounded cars, Lambino said, “consistent with the relentless anti-corruption campaign of the government.”
He also said that CEZA will appeal to the President to allow the Zone to utilize the scrap metal from the destroyed luxury vehicles for the building of a planned “Monument of Transformation,” at the entrance to Port Irene.
“Filipinos of this generation and the coming ones will be reminded by this monument that we, in government service, put our highest value in integrity over greed, in honesty over fraud, and in faithfulness to our duty over deception,” Lambino said.