“Law is law and violating it means suffering the consequences.”
This lesson was something a tourist who visited Davao City learned after challenging the Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance in the largest city in the country. This ordinance prohibits any tobacco products including e-cigarettes in all entertainment establishments, workplaces and public places and establishments within the territorial jurisdiction of the said city.
Although Davao has been known for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s strict implementation of the city’s ordinances, a tourist during the Kadayawan Festival still insisted smoking in a restaurant owned by Duterte’s close friend, reported Inquirer.net. Kadayawan Festival is supposed to be a celebration of life, thanksgiving of gift of nature and wealth of culture. However, unfortunately for the tourist whose name was not mentioned, his supposed to be celebration with the people in Davao tured a scandalous experience.
The said news made noise upon Manny Piñol’s post in his Facebook account about the said incident. Manny Piñol who has been urging Duterte to run for the 2016 elections wrote, “Don’t dare Rudy Duterte.” This was after the said local tourist said,“On whose orders? Bakit pera ba ni Duterte ang binibili ko ng sigarilyo?,” after properly asked by the restaurant owner not to smoke in such place.
This arrogant response urged the restaurant owner to call for police officer’s assistance. They even personally informed the Mayor about the tourist’s blasphemous behavior. After several minutes, the haughty tourist was reported to turn ashen-faced due to shock when the Mayor himself went inside the restaurant. The mayor calmly sat beside the tourist and the apparently terrified tourist immediately dropped the cigarette on the floor and stepped on it.
Kicked Daily further reported the the mayor pulled out a .38 revolver which he pointed to the tourist’s crotch and said, “Papiliin kita: barilin ko ang b…g mo, i-preso kita o kainin mo ang upos ng sigarilyo mo.” The tourist immediately picked up and swallowed the cigarette butt, and muttered, “Sorry Mayor.” The Facebook post further stated that witnesses heard the mayor say, “Never ever challenge the law”, before leaving.
Although Rappler reports the incident to have happened a long time ago and that Duterte’s spokesman Peter T. Laviña said the mayor did not point a revolver to the tourist, one thing still remains – that laws in Davao applies to everyone in Davao.
Duterte’s solid stand of implementing the law without the exemption of anybody has been said to be the key of Davao’s industrial success. Davao has built an integrity of being the safest city in the country and fifth in the whole world as reported by Inquirer.net after having a crime index of 18.18 and a safety index of 81.82.
Davao, being an ideal scenario of a city has become a testimony that strict implementation of the law is possible. Thus, as the Philippine National Election approaches, a lot of people encourages Duterte to run for presidency with the confidence that he could apply the same strategy in the whole country. However, Duterte still has no official response regarding this matter.
Well, only two things persist after the above-mentioned incident – law is law and no one is an exemption.