Philippine President Publicly Destroys Luxury Cars

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte watched as bulldozers crushed over US$5 million worth of contraband Porsches, Lamborghinis, and other luxury vehicles on Monday in a flashy crackdown on corruption.

Screenshot from 2018-08-02 15-18-40More than 75 luxury vehicles worth $5.6 million were destroyed (Youtube).A video released by the government shows heavy machinery rolling over more than 75 luxury cars and motorbikes to applause from a crowd in the northern province of Cagayan. They had been part of a seizure of 800 vehicles allegedly smuggled through Cagayan’s port, the government said in a press release.

"You know, before a place can really be developed or a viable place to do business, you have to establish first law and order," Duterte said to a crowd following Monday’s demolition meant to showcase his no-nonsense attitude toward crime and corruption. 

It is the second time Duterte’s government has released dramatic footage of illicit vehicles being bulldozed as part of his initiative to deter smuggling by publicly destroying illegally shipped contraband.

In February, Duterte ordered a total of 30 vehicles worth a combined $1.2 million to be scrapped in Manila and two other cities in a similar ceremony.

Since elected president in 2016, Duterte has taken an aggressive, and often violent, approach to crime and corruption.

According to Human Rights Watch, more than 12,000 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed in his bloody war on drugs, including some 4,000 in operations led by police. 

Duterte also routinely attacks journalists critical of his government, claiming they are corrupt. 

"Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch," Duterte said at a 2016 press conference in response to a question about how to protect press freedom following the murder of a crime reporter in Manila.

"Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong," he said.