It didn't turn out to be quite the example-setting display of authority that President Arroyo had hoped. She didn't show - her backup helicopter was suffering a mechanical malady - and the officials that did attend took a few hours to get their act together and decide to smoosh some vehicles in the name of deterring smuggling. 18 vehicles eventually met the business end of a trio of backhoes, sending the message that Arroyo would rather forego the estimated $ 2 million US dollars the cars would have brought at auction. Instead of a multi-million dollar windfall, it looks like there's a new environmentally hazardous site at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority's impound, and the cars will be sold for scrap for the paltry sum of 150,000 Philippine pesos, a little more than $3,200. Finance secretary Margarito Teves acknowledged that the government would be foregoing revenues to send an anti-smuggling message.
Thanks for the tip, Alex!
[Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer via Autojab]