The Philippines has had a bit of a problem with people smuggling cars into the country without paying taxes. So to make a point, it just crushed a whole bunch of confiscated cars by driving over them with a bulldozer.
After seeing the tax-free dreams laid waste before him, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (perhaps most internationally famous for going on a murderous campaign of extra-judicial executions) was reported by Reuters to have instructed his officials to “give it to the buyer of steel.”
Reuters did not immediately say whether or not the comment was followed by a big, hearty movie villain laugh:
The Bureau of Customs seized $2.93 million worth of smuggled vehicles last year, part of the $866 million in seized goods, government data showed.
“It does not pay to evade taxes in the Philippines so might as well stop trying, because you will never succeed,” Duterte’s finance minister, Carlos Dominguez, told reporters before letting diggers loose on 20 slick-looking vehicles at a Manila port. A further 10 were simultaneously destroyed in ports in the southern cities of Davao and Cebu.
The 20 cars selected for public destruction ranged from that slick C3 Corvette above, to BMWs and Jaguars. Vehicle smuggling is a big problem in the Philippines where car taxes can go as high as 50 percent for cars valued over approximately $77,000.
In fairness, the Philippine government has a $180 billion plan to improve its infrastructure, and it says it needs the money in part from car taxes to pay for all of it. And improving infrastructure – such as good roads! – is a noble goal that every car person can get behind.
But did they need to crush a white Corvette with an absurdly blue interior?