MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte warned the judiciary against issuing injunctions with his order to arrest people using vapes or electronic cigarettes, as well as those involved in the importation of such devices.
“Judges, I know that you can determine whether vaping is good or not, but unfortunately, also your indolence does not inspire confidence,” Duterte said in a speech on Wednesday evening at the Department of National Defense in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, adding the courts must not interfere, just like what they did in the attempt of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to regulate it.
“It takes you too long to decide and so do not interfere in this,” the Chief Executive stressed.
President Duterte’s warning came after regional trial courts in Manila and Pasig issued an injunction order on FDA, which attempted to regulate vaping in the country.
“I warn you, do not issue restraining orders to the Customs, to the Coast Guard,” Duterte said. “I will not obey your order because of the peculiar situation this country finds.”
On Tuesday, Duterte said he is ordering the ban on e-cigarettes as he likened vaping to smoking tobacco cigarettes, which he earlier prohibited nationwide.
In response, the Philippine National Police (PNP) already began its crackdown on users and vendors of e-cigarettes but it clarified that violators will be apprehended but will be release immediately after the incident is recorded in police blotter.
“Wala namang detention or jail time, kaagad naman na sila ay palalayain,” PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said in an interview with DZMM radio on Thursday.
“Ito ay magsisilbi lamang na babala sa lahat ng mga vape users na ilagay sa tamang lugar ang paggamit nito na hindi nakakaaabala sa ating mga kababayan,” he added./PN