Lawmakers to probe disappearance of some 1,800 vehicles in Subic

Another blow to the Bureau of Customs?
Mar 5, 2012

The House of Representatives has ordered the Committee on Ways and Means to look into the reported disappearance of some 1,800 imported secondhand vehicles that have been kept in storage areas at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone since 2007.

The move was instigated by Rep. Winnie Castelo who filed House Resolution 1664, which was subsequently recommended by the rules committee to Congress.

In the resolution, Castelo said that Congress "should probe the reported disappearance of 1,800 imported secondhand vehicles to rule out cases of vehicle smuggling and circumvention of Executive Order 156 that disallows resale of said vehicles."

According to Castelo, it was the chief of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Subic Port that revealed that some 1,800 imported and used vehicles, which have been stored there since 2007, were found missing from the storage yard and can no longer be accounted for.

"Subic locators should then explain where these used and imported vehicles are now or come up again with the latest official inventory to account for each item or vehicle as inventoried in 2007," said Castelo.

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Prior to the revelation from the BOC, the Land Transportation Office reported that 172 imported luxury cars with brands like Jaguar, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover were missing from the Freeport Zone. In response, Customs commissioner Ruffy Biazon sought the help of the Philippine National Police last September 2011 to recover the missing luxury vehicles.

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