Police in Bohol confiscated at least 16 vapes in various localities across the province following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement ordering the arrest of those caught using the device in public.
Data from the Bohol Provincial Police Office Operations Branch showed that the vapes, also known as e-cigarettes, were confiscated in Tagbilaran City, Loboc, Tubigon and Panglao on Wednesday, the day BPPO director Col. Jonathan Cabal issued the directive on the confiscation of the devices which are being used in public.
Most of the e-cigarettes were seized in Tagbilaran and Tubigon with police stations in the two areas confiscating six vapes each. Police in Panglao and Loboc meanwhile confiscated three and one, respectively.
The BPPO however will not be arresting vape users—perhaps rightfully so considering that there is still no formal directive, such as an executive order, on the banning of the device which has been deemed by some as one of Duterte’s spur-of-the-moment policy pronouncements.
There is currently no law covering vapes and the basis and parameters for the order remain unclear.
According to Cabal, the directive he issued to all of the province’s chiefs of police was to confiscate vapes.
“Kunin yung vape, confiscate lang. Hindi naman criminal [offense] ‘yon,” said Cabal.
On Tuesday, Duterte made the verbal order during a press conference after health authorities’ confirmation of health hazards associated with vaping.
The President said that an “executive order will follow,” but so far no EO or memorandum order has been issued. (R. Tutas)