POLICE in Northern Mindanao will start arresting vape users, record their names and release thereafter as there is still no legal basis for the filing of cases, a police official said Thursday, November 21.
Lieutenant Colonel Mardy Hortillosa, Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao spokesperson, said they already received a memorandum from the national headquarters on Wednesday, to start implementing President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to arrest vape users.
The memorandum directs police to coordinate with appropriate agencies, including vape store owners and malls selling different kinds of e-cigarettes to enhance the enforcement of the order.
Hortillosa clarified that they would only arrest those using vape in public places.
He added that vape users will be arrested but will not be put behind bars.
Police will only get their names and release them immediately.
“We will arrest them, record, then buhian lang kay naa man gihapon tay compliance report,” he said.
Without a law, Hortillosa said penalties can still be imposed if a local government unit has an ordinance against vaping.
In Cagayan de Oro, vapes are also prohibited under the Smoke-Free City ordinance. This ordinance, however, is still pending at the committee on health.
City Councilor Reuben Daba, vice-chairperson of the committee on health, said the proposed ordinance might be passed before the year ends.
City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a, for his part, said they will issue an ordinance violation receipt (OVR) to violators once the ordinance is passed.