In jest, Duterte orders extrajudicial killing of vape inventor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 21) — President Rodrigo Duterte continued to defend his verbal ban on vapes on Thursday night, this time verbally ordering — in jest — the extrajudicial killing of its inventor.

Ewan ko kung sinong demonyo nag-imbento niyan. Pinapahanap ko nga. I-extrajudicial killing ko ‘yang g***** ‘yan,” he said in a speech before elderly residents of Taguig City.

[Translation: I don’t know what kind of demon invented that. I want him hunted down. I’ll have the fool killed extrajudicially.]

READ: ‘Going on for a long time:’ Duterte admits to EJKs in Davao City

Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik is often credited for the invention of the modern e-cigarette.

Duterte said that since vapes also have nicotine like cigarettes, they are already covered by the existing ban on smoking in public space, spelled out in Executive Order No. 26, which reinforces Republic Act (RA) No. 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

This is the same reasoning of the police in enforcing Duterte’s order to arrest those who vape in public. Police, however, would not charge them and would let them go with just a “stern warning.”

Both the executive order and the law make no mention of banning or regulating vapes and e-cigarettes.

Duterte said Wednesday that this vape ban is justified by a law that bans toxic substances, but did not mention what this law is.

Despite his vape ban, the President said the country cannot ban traditional tobacco cigarettes.

“We allow its manufacture and maybe the importation of tobacco. We allow it, pinapayagan natin tapos we tax them. So ‘yung produce nila, ‘yung sigarilyo na lumalabas sa factory, hindi natin mapigilan,” he said.

[Translation: We allow its manufacture and maybe the importation of tobacco. We allow it, we let them and then we tax them. So their products, the cigarettes that come out of the factory, we can’t stop.]

Duterte issued Tuesday a verbal order to ban the use and importation of vapes, following the first confirmed report of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury in the country.

[Translation: We allow its manufacture and maybe the importation of tobacco. We allow it, we let them and then we tax them. So their products, the cigarettes that come out of the factory, we can’t stop.]

He has warned judges against striking down his verbal ban, saying he will not heed their order stopping it.