President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to order the extrajudicial killing or EJK of the inventor of vaping, whom he called a “devil” for creating products that pose a threat to public health.
In his speech during a visit to Taguig City’s Center for the Elderly on Thursday night, Duterte reiterated his order to the police to arrest anyone caught vaping or using e-cigarettes in public, including its inventor.
“Ewan ko kung sinong demonyong nag-imbento niyan. Pinapahanap ko nga ngayon, ipa-extrajudicial killing ko ‘yung g****g ‘yan. Totoo (I don’t know who the devil created that. I ordered them to look for the person. I will order the extrajudicial killing of that fool. It’s true),” he said.
“Pumunta yan dito. Saan ang pulis? Utusan mo patayin mo ‘yan p** i** (If the person goes here, where’s the police? Order him to kill that son of a b*tch),” the President added.
The Smithsonian.com, an online resource managed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, named Herbert A. Gilbert of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, as the inventor of the device he called “smokeless.”
Gilbert, a scrap metal dealer, filed a patent for “a safe and harmless means for and method of smoking (US Pat. 3,200,819)” in 1963.
The patent of this inventor, now 88 years old, “has been cited hundreds of times by other inventors, including Hon Lik, considered the father of today’s e-cigarette.”
Duterte said he did not want anyone in the country vaping as such, just like smoking, was toxic to one’s health.
He added that vaping products not only contain deadly nicotine but other unknown chemicals.
“Vaping, pareho rin nanigarilyo ka… Nicotine ‘yan tapos may chemist — chemicals diyan na hindi ko alam kung ano. At pinapatay ninyo ang mga anak namin (When you engaged in vaping, it’s like smoking… It has nicotine and chemicals that I don’t know and you’re killing our children),” Duterte said.
“Kaya sabi ko sa pulis hulihin ninyo basta in public. Eh may nicotine eh. Parang sigarilyo. Eh ‘di bawal. Pati ‘yung sa display (That’s why I ordered the police to arrest those vaping in public. It has nicotine, just like cigarettes. So that’s prohibited and even it’s display),” he added.
While he moved to ban vaping in public, Duterte explained that ordinary cigarettes, however, were allowed in the country.
“Cigarette, it’s allowed. Why can we not ban cigarettes? Why? Because we allow its manufacture and maybe the importation of tobacco. We allow it, pinapayagan natin tapos (and then) we tax them,” he said.
Since smoking tobacco was still harmful to one’s health, according to President, the government has restricted smoking in public places.
“Nicotine will kill you. Now if you want to die, go ahead,” Duterte told people who smoke.
“You do not smoke inside the house because you will also kill your wife. At ‘yang mga p***** i**** g***, magsigarilyo nandiyan pa ‘yung mga anak nila (And those sons of b*****s, they smoke even if their children are present),” he said.
Duterte, in his speech during the inauguration of a baseload coal-fired power plant in Saranggani on Friday, also slammed the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for questioning his vaping ban order.
IBP National President Domingo Cayosa earlier said collared vape-users might challenge their arrest because the basis being used by authorities only covers conventional tobacco cigarettes.
“I’m so pissed off with this guy. Eh walang alam eh. And the others —itong IBP. Anong Bar exam ba itong mga ulol na ‘to (They knew nothing. This IBP, these fools, what Bar exam did they take)?” Duterte said, referring to IBP, the national organization of lawyers in the Philippines.
“Sa vaping. You know, do not listen to those lawyers and… Bugok na ‘yan sila, maniwala ka (They’re all fools, believe me). You happen to elect one of the — not really bright but progressive),” the President added.
Duterte insisted that an executive order (EO) imposing the ban and arrest of those who vape in public was no longer needed as he cited the law against smoking in public places.
“I do not have to issue an executive order. Paka-bobo naman itong mga g*** na ito (They’re all fools). Na meron ng law (There’s already a law) about nicotine. If you use vaping in public, there is nicotine. And so without the other chemical combustion there, you are already violating the law in vaping because it contains nicotine,” the President said.
“Now, why am I ordering its confiscation? Because it is thrown to the consumers and under the Consumers’ Protection Act, if the thing that they — we are importing is prohibited by the place where it was made, then automatically it is also not good and it is should — should be by operation of common sense,” he added
On Tuesday, Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to start its crackdown on vaping devices, citing health hazards.
This came after the first reported case of an illness related to vaping involving a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas.
While Duterte was yet to issue a written order to back his ban on vaping, the PNP on Wednesday already began its crackdown on users and vendors of e-cigarettes.
Ban at SEA Games
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) also on Friday said the police would arrest people, including foreigners, who are vaping in public during the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games this month.
NCRPO chief Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said vaping in all venues of the SEA Games is prohibited.
“During the SEA Games, in all venues of the event, vaping is not allowed, if you go there and you bring vape, it will be confiscated or you are not allowed to enter the event,” Sinas added.
The NCRPO chief said there would be no designated smoking areas at all the venues of the SEA Games.
“Those who are caught using vape will be arrested, we will include vape in the list of prohibited items, if you want to sneak that in, we will confiscate it,” he added in Filipino.
If, however, a spectator sneaked in vapes inside a sports venue, Sinas said policemen called “plain clothes” acting as spectators would roam and spot it.
A total of 17, 734 NCRPO personnel with force multipliers will be deployed in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, House Committee on Dangerous Drugs Chairman Ace Robert Barbers pushed for regulating the inevitable entry into and proliferation of vape products in the country
Barbers and other lawmakers filed House Bill 5310 or the Vapor Products Regulation Act seeking to regulate the manufacture, use, sale, packaging, distribution and advertisement of vapor products.
“The entry of vaping, like the entry of e-cigarettes in the country is inevitable,” Barbers said.
“We’d rather, because entry [of vape products] is inevitable in the new system, that experts say have less harmful effect, who don’t we look at that route. And if we look at that route, there must be regulation,” he added in English and Filipino.
Barbers said access to vaping must be limited and must be inaccessible to the youth.
QuitForGood, a civic organization helping smokers to quit, also supported the regulation of vaping.
QuitForGood President and medical doctor Lorenzo Mata Jr. said vaping was the last resort for smokers to switch to a less harmful option next to outright quitting
“It’s a fundamental right to everyone to choose a [something that could cause] lesser harm to themselves,” Mata added.
He said vaping would be an alternative option to help curb the number of smokers, which number to 17 million in the Philippines.
According to studies, Mata added, vaping was 95 percent less harmful than tobacco.
There are approximately 10 deaths per hour or 240 deaths per day because of smoking-related diseases such as cancer and pulmonary diseases, he said.
WITH REPORTS FROM DIVINA NOVA JOY DELA CRUZ AND DARWIN PESCO