Duterte bans auctioning of smuggled goods
MANILA, Philippines – During his administration, no smuggled goods will be auctioned off, said President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, February 13.
"From now on, there will be no auction of smuggled goods. It will be destroyed once the period of redeeming it [ends] and I will take note of those people who are there," he said during the mass oath-taking of new government officials in Malacañang.
Duterte pointed to the allegedly corrupt practices of the auctions division in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Some of its personnel, he said, are in cahoots with smugglers who use a fictitious consignee name. The dirty auctions office personnel would then ensure that, after the smuggled goods are confiscated, they would be auctioned to the smugglers.
"While they are being parked inside the warehouses, if the time comes for government to make the accounting, they would conduct the auction and sell it to the people who really, in the first place, were responsible for importing them.... This insanity has to stop," said Duterte.
Last February 5, the President witnessed the destruction of 20 cars, including sports cars, worth P61.6 million during the BOC anniversary.
His ally in Congress, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, asked why these could not have been sold to foreign buyers and the money from the sale used for calamity victims, for example?
Malacañang had said destroying the smuggled cars would better ensure they don't end up in the hands of the corrupt. – Rappler.com