PNP insists it has legal grounds to arrest vapers despite absence of written issuance

Published November 21, 2019, 5:37 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Aaron Recuenco

Vapers puffing in public places would take the risk of being hauled to police stations and have police records as the Philippine National Police (PNP) insisted on Thursday that their men can make arrests.

(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

But Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP Officer-In-Charge, was quick to clarify that arrested vapers would not be jailed or charged in the absence of the clear guideline and punitive aspect on vaping in public.

“We can still arrest but we cannot punish,” said Gamboa.

“In the absence of publication which is required for any State to impose punitive action, hence, another EO (Executive Order) is required for it to be published and to have punishment,” he added.

Unlike smoking cigarette and cigars, puffing vapes or electronic-cigarette is not specifically mentioned in the Executive Order 26, which bans smoking in public.

Gamboa earlier ordered all police commanders to run after those using vapes in public places. His directive was based on the verbal order of President Duterte.

Read more: PRRD bans vaping

While e-cigarettes are not included in the EO 26 which is being used against smokers in public places, Gamboa explained that the wordings in the EO empower them to run after vapers.

The key terms in the EO 26, according to Gamboa, are public health and Clean Air Act.

“In the first whereas clauses it says there that it is imbued of public interest which is public health and then tobacco was mentioned,” said Gamboa who is a lawyer.

“But remember there is also a mention there of Clean Air Act. So this should be merged. That is the reason when I was asked why we can immediately make arrest, It said it can be implemented because there is a higher interest to protect, which is public health” he added.

While vaping is not specifically stated in the EO 26, Gamboa said no less than Duterte made the expansion through his order to arrest vapers puffing in public.

WHY PNP CANNOT JAIL VAPERS

Gamboa explained that another Executive Order is needed in order to punish vapers puffing in public.

Another executive order, according to Gamboa, will certainly include the punishment for those who would be caught.

In the absence of another EO, police can make arrest and bring those arrested to police stations.

But they will not be jailed and instead, their arrest can be put on police blotter.

“Blotter does not have probative value. You cannot evem use that in court,” said Gamboa.

As such, he said that those who would be arrested will certainly be freed immediately.

DIFFERENT MEANING

For ordinary people, arrest is always perceived to be an act that comes with jail and court cases.

But Gamboa said that arrest is not a form of punishment.

“This is not even a detention,” said Gamboa.

“When you try to present some evidence, trying to point out a specific offense and you have the intent to file a case that’s custodial investigation. This is not among them,” he explained.

What the police want to exercise in arresting vapers, according to Gamboa, is the police power in terms of ensuring public health.

Read more: PNP starts crackdown on vaping

 
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PNP insists it has legal grounds to arrest vapers despite absence of written issuance

Published November 21, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Aaron Recuenco

Vapers puffing in public places would take the risk of being hauled to police stations and have police records as the Philippine National Police (PNP) insisted on Thursday that their men can make arrests.

(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

But Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP Officer-In-Charge, was quick to clarify that arrested vapers would not be jailed or charged in the absence of the clear guideline and punitive aspect on vaping in public.

“We can still arrest but we cannot punish,” said Gamboa.

“In the absence of publication which is required for any State to impose punitive action, hence, another EO (Executive Order) is required for it to be published and to have punishment,” he added.

Unlike smoking cigarette and cigars, puffing vapes or electronic-cigarette is not specifically mentioned in the Executive Order 26, which bans smoking in public.

Gamboa earlier ordered all police commanders to run after those using vapes in public places. His directive was based on the verbal order of President Duterte.

Read more: PRRD bans vaping

While e-cigarettes are not included in the EO 26 which is being used against smokers in public places, Gamboa explained that the wordings in the EO empower them to run after vapers.

The key terms in the EO 26, according to Gamboa, are public health and Clean Air Act.

“In the first whereas clauses it says there that it is imbued of public interest which is public health and then tobacco was mentioned,” said Gamboa who is a lawyer.

“But remember there is also a mention there of Clean Air Act. So this should be merged. That is the reason when I was asked why we can immediately make arrest, It said it can be implemented because there is a higher interest to protect, which is public health” he added.

While vaping is not specifically stated in the EO 26, Gamboa said no less than Duterte made the expansion through his order to arrest vapers puffing in public.

WHY PNP CANNOT JAIL VAPERS

Gamboa explained that another Executive Order is needed in order to punish vapers puffing in public.

Another executive order, according to Gamboa, will certainly include the punishment for those who would be caught.

In the absence of another EO, police can make arrest and bring those arrested to police stations.

But they will not be jailed and instead, their arrest can be put on police blotter.

“Blotter does not have probative value. You cannot evem use that in court,” said Gamboa.

As such, he said that those who would be arrested will certainly be freed immediately.

DIFFERENT MEANING

For ordinary people, arrest is always perceived to be an act that comes with jail and court cases.

But Gamboa said that arrest is not a form of punishment.

“This is not even a detention,” said Gamboa.

“When you try to present some evidence, trying to point out a specific offense and you have the intent to file a case that’s custodial investigation. This is not among them,” he explained.

What the police want to exercise in arresting vapers, according to Gamboa, is the police power in terms of ensuring public health.

Read more: PNP starts crackdown on vaping

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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