TUGUEGARAO CITY — Officials of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) want to know the owners of 855 imported vehicles, including the 14 luxury cars that were set to be destroyed on Wednesday, in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Mr. Duterte last week announced he would oversee the destruction of imported vehicles impounded at Port Irene, Ceza’s main port, at Santa Ana town.
On Monday, Ceza Administrator Raul Lambino said, the 14 vehicles were lined up for destruction after Ceza ruled that their listed consignee, First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp., had waived its right to contest their condemnation.
What Mr. Duterte will see destroyed, however, will only be a fraction of the 855 imported vehicles that have also been condemned.
The fate of the rest of the vehicles will be determined on March 16, when the 13-member Ceza board votes on the appeal of Fenix (Ceza) Inc. to stop the destruction.
In its company report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2016, Fenix Ceza listed Jaime Escaño as its president, while Jaime Vicente is the vice president.
Vicente, however, told the Inquirer that he had been separated from the company since 2014.
Escaño is a member of the Ceza board. The Inquirer tried to reach him on Monday but he did not take calls on his mobile telephone.
Lambino declined to discuss reports that the vehicles were owned by personalities and companies linked to a former lawmaker. “I cannot comment on that because those may just be speculations. We just let evidence speak for themselves,” he said.
The lawmaker had been implicated because his law firm had represented Fenix Ceza in elevating its appeal to the Ceza board. —MELVIN GASCON
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