President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday warned judges about going against his order to ban the use and importation of electronic cigarettes.
Speaking at the 80th anniversary of the Department of National Defense in Quezon City, Duterte said his directive would have to be implemented pending the issuance of an executive order.
“Do not interfere in this. Judges, I warn you, do not issue restraining orders to the Customs, to the Coast Guard," Duterte said.
"I will not obey your order because of the peculiar situation this country finds,” he added.
Duterte said there was already a law banning the distribution of toxic materials in public places.
“The executive order, never mind, it will come. When you are here, you have to act urgent," Duterte said.
"If it’s an immediate thing, especially if it is to protect the lives of people, the State under the police power, through the elected officials can do it,” he added.
Duterte’s policy pronouncement on Tuesday night came after the Department of Health confirmed that a 16-year-old girl from Visayas was reported to have the first case of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) in the country after using vape for six months.
The President said vapes contained chemicals which have yet to be passed by the Food and Drug Administration and whose effects on the body remained unknown.
“Nicotine is an addictive devil. And if you have to have a fix, well, you have to find some latrine there anywhere, but not in the madding crowd,” Duterte said.
Duterte added vaping can be done at home.
“The safest way to do it is in your house. But if you are not that stupid, when you do that, you contaminate all including your children in the family,” he said.
—NB, GMA News