As law enforcers, policemen should notbe ignorant of laws, he stressed. A policeman can be sued for theft ifhe seizes a person’s unlighted cigarettes, said Duron. It would be tantamount to theft, saidCouncilor Romel Duron. “The taking of another person’spersonal property without the consent of the owner is plain and simple theft,”said Duron. “Or the police must first secure asearch warrant from the court. Kon walacourt order, indi mo gid mabuksan ang compartment,”he added./PN ILOILO City – Policemen have beenwarned against confiscating people’s unlighted cigarettes. According to Duron, a lawyer, merepossession of cigarettes is not a violation of the city’s antismoking ordinancethat prohibits smoking in public places and conveyances. “The law recognizes only the ‘plainview doctrine’. Opening of trunks should be voluntary on the part of the carowner. If he agrees, ti buksan mo. Pero kon indi, you will be violating ila rights regarding searches,” Duronexplained. As to the request of the ICPO that thecity council pass an ordinance allowing policemen to open the trunks of privatevehicles at checkpoints, Duron said such has legal implications. Cigarettes are not even consideredcontrabands, he added. “Angginabawal smoking. Once masindihan kag mag-emit nasang smoke, that is a violation. Konwala masindihan, there is no violation yet,” said Duron. The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO)announced it would be strictly enforcing the antismoking ordinance during theDinagyang Festival, the highlight of which is the crowd-drawing ati tribes competition on Sunday, Jan.26. It plans to confiscate even unlighted cigarettes.