Government fails to sell seized luxury cars again

THE government failed to raise money from its auction of four seized luxury cars on Thursday as it once again drew no bidders.

The Inter-Agency Auction Committee was forced to declare failed biddings for all of the four lots with a combined floor price of P22.42 million.

The top two most expensive of the four seized used luxury cars, however, had one interested bidder each. However, the bidders were unable to register after failing to meet the requirements. The bidders signified interests for the 2006 Lamborghini and the 2008 Ferrari Scuderia 430 with floor prices of P10.38 million and P10.45 million, respectively.

This was the first time that the 2006 Lamborghini was put up on the auction block while the remaining three seized luxury cars have already been re-offered three times after the first failed public bidding as it attracted no bidders.

“The prospective bidder did not meet all registration requirements under the rules; hence, no registered bidders to speak of,” Inter-Agency Auction Committee Vice Chairman and Deputy Treasurer Erwin D. Santa Ana told the BusinessMirror in a message following the auction.

Among the requirements that the bidder failed to meet include the posting of the bond, Santa Ana added.

Customs Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco also confirmed this to BusinessMirror, saying the bidder was not allowed to register because it did not post a bond.

Dapat kasi inayos na nila beforehand ang registration at posting of bond,” Dy Buco said. [They should have arranged the registration and posting of bond beforehand.]

Based on the terms and conditions of the public auction, bidders must post duly-receipted bond in cash or manager’s check depending on the floor price. The bond shall be refunded to the losing bidder after the closing of the auction.

Following the declaration of failed bidding for the four seized luxury cars, the committee approved Dy Buco’s motion to re-offer these on June 15.

He told the BusinessMirror that the four seized luxury cars will be re-offered at the same floor price.

Should the next auction be declared a failed bidding again, especially for the three re-offered lots, Dy Buco said this will be the time when they ask principals regarding the next step that should be taken by the committee.

“Probably after that, we will just seek guidance. Pwede pa naman ’yan [It could be offered on a] negotiated sale,” he said.

Apart from the 2006 Lamborghini and the 2008 Ferrari Scuderia 430, the government re-offered on Thursday the 2001 Porsche Boxster and the 2011 Mercedez E220 with floor prices of P809,082.97 and P783,049.46, respectively.

Since the government resumed disposing luxury cars through public auction back in December, it has so far held a total of four public biddings.

Of the four, there was so far only one public auction wherein it awarded bids. After two consecutive failed biddings, the government finally raised in April this year P6.305 million after it awarded bids for the three seized luxury cars.

Citing the need to infuse funds for pandemic response, the government was announced in December last year that luxury cars seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be disposed through public auction.

The IAC—composed of representatives from the BOC, Bureau of the Treasury and the Land Bank of the Philippines—was formed to ensure transparency of the process and promote competition through broad dissemination of auction information.

Before this, smuggled vehicles were destroyed instead of being auctioned off as the BOC followed President Duterte’s directive.

Duterte said in 2018 that he wanted to do away with the public auction of smuggled luxury cars as he alleged that smugglers take advantage of the auction to buy the vehicles at a cheaper price.

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