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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 August 2018

WATCH: Philippines' Duterte watches bulldozers crush smuggled Lamborghinis and Porsches

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the destruction of more than 60 smuggled luxury vehicles as part of his anti-corruption drive.

Bulldozers on Monday crushed more than 297 million pesos (US$5.6m/Dh20.56m) worth of cars and motorcycles, which included a Lamborghini, Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz.

In a speech after the ceremony, Mr Duterte said the destruction was meant to show the Philippines as a place of investment and his toughened stance against illegal importers.

Meanwhile, police in the South-East Asian nation vowed to revamp and intensify their fight in the war on drugs.

"Surgical and chilling will be the trademark of the reinvigorated anti-illegal drugs and anti-criminality campaign," police chief Oscar Albayalde said.

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Thousands of suspected drug dealers and users have been killed in the past two years in what police say were shootouts.

Police have rejected accusations by activists that suspects were being systematically executed, based on weak intelligence and with the assumed backing of Mr Duterte.

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors have launched a preliminary examination to assess whether crimes against humanity may have been committed. Mr Duterte in March cancelled the Philippines' ICC membership in protest.

Mr Albayalde said Mr Duterte's war on drugs would be "recalibrated", and there would be renewed focus and intensity, with "built-in safeguards" to ensure operations were lawful and protected human rights.

A police oversight committee would be formed, he said.

The police chief warned of "frightful" consequences for anyone who continued to sell drugs.

He said police intelligence had identified 893 "high-value targets", warning that they and "their patrons and protectors" would receive a "strong message of the certainty of punishment".

Mr Albayalde said nearly 1.3 million drug users and street peddlers had surrendered, and that they would be strictly monitored, including 215,000 who have undergone rehabilitation.

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