MANILA, Philippines - As part of the latest crackdown on smuggling announced by the Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, officials confirmed that a fleet of luxury and sports cars were crushed by a bulldozer this week.
Officials said that the operation was overseen in Manila by President Duterte himself, who saw 20 vehicles being destroyed on Tuesday.
Video released to the media showed cars being lined up before being driven over by bulldozers.
According to reports, the fleet of luxury and sports cars that were crushed were worth an estimated $1.5 million.
Similar demonstrations were reportedly held simultaneously on seven cars in Port of Davao and three cars in the Port of Cebu.
The cars were crushed days after Duterte vowed to destroy the vehicles brought into the country illegally.
In a post on his Presidential Communications Facebook page, Duterte said, "You're the only ones who know about the auction, you disrespect the Filipinos. That's why you have many cars then after the auction, you are given papers legally and at a cheaper price.”
Reports noted that the cars were worth an estimated 61 million pesos ($1.5 million) and included a Corvette Stingray, a Jaguar S-Type and an Audi A6 Quattro.
According to government data, the Philippines Bureau of Customs seized 2.11 million pounds worth of smuggled vehicles last year.
The country’s finance minister, Carlos Dominguez, said in a statement, "It does not pay to evade taxes in the Philippines, so you might as well stop trying, because you will never succeed."
The operation was in line with Duterte’s presidential campaign vow of coming down hard on corruption.
Since taking office in June 2016, Duterte has waged a ruthless war on drugs which has seen thousands of men, women and children being killed.
The violence has also been criticized by several world leaders and by many quarters of the international community.