The Philippine National Police (PNP) will implement an arrest-and-release system for individuals caught vaping in public.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa clarified that they will not detain apprehended vapers while the new executive order is still pending in Malacañang.
“We can arrest but we cannot punish, arrest in not punishment,” he said.
Arrested individuals, according to Gamboa, will be recorded in the police blotter and will be released.
“If you include vape in that EO, it’s actually an expansion of the definition of smoking, kaya sabi pwede i-implement agad (that’s why it can be implemented immediately). However, in the absence of publication, which is required for any state to impose punitive action, hence, another EO is required for it to be published and then tsaka magkaroon ng (there will be) punishment,” he added.
The PNP OIC also assured there will be no abuse in the implementation of the arrest-and-release system.
Gamboa released a memorandum on Wednesday (November 20) declaring all PNP camp and office a ‘no vape zone’.
He also directed police officers to arrest individuals caught vaping in public.
This was after the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (November 19) to ban the importation and use of vaping.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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