Proliferation of rugby-sniffing kids still a concern in Cebu City this pandemic

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimdedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 05,2021 - 12:08 PM

Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu, head of the Mabolo Police Station, rounds up the street children who hide under the bridge in Barangay Mabolo to sniff solvent. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Rugby-sniffing kids continue to proliferate especially the vicinity of the bridge in General Maxilom Avenue despite the implementation of “Oplan Puyo” by the police.

And they are starting to get involve in snatching and robberies.

However, Police Major Armando Labora, chief of the Abellana Police Station, admitted that they are no longer able to focus on the rescue of these kids since they also have their hands full with other concerns including their anti-criminality campaigns and the implementation of health protocols.

Labora is asking the assistance of barangay officials to make sure that these kids are taken off the streets.

He said barangay tanods should be deployed to monitor areas where these kids would converge including the area located under the bridge in General Maxilom Avenue.

On September 4, Saturday, Abellana police arrested three adults and rescued seven minors from under the bridge.

The group was brought to the Cogon Ramos Gymnasium where quarantine violators are temporarily detained pending payment of corresponding fines or the conduct of community service.

Labora said the group will soon be released free of any charge since they were not caught in the act of sniffing rugby.

While they made the arrest of the three adults and the rescue of the minors after they received a report that they were sniffing rugby while under the bridge, police failed to catch them on the act of doing it.

Alarming

He said this was not the first time that they received a tip on the presence of rugby-sniffing individuals under the bridge and this pattern is already starting to become “alarming.”

And these people just keep coming back despite the conduct of police operations in the area.

Since January, Labora said, they already rounded up 100 minors from under the bridge. And its almost the same kids that they would round up every time that they operate in the area.

Based on their investigation, these kids come from the different barangays in Cebu City including Pasil and Lorega and they either come from broken families or opted to leave their homes as a result of a misunderstanding with their parents.

Hideout

Labora said they will need the help of the barangays in making sure that kids no longer use especially the area located under the General Maxilom bridge as their “hideout.”

He will also be talking to establishments and individuals in the area to discourage them from selling rugby and solvents to these minors.

There are certain individuals, he said, who retail solvents for only P5.

Also, Labora is asking residents of Barangays Capitol Site, Cogon Ramos, Kamputhaw, Sambag 1, Sambag 2 and Santa Cruz that are under the jurisdiction of the Abellana Police Station to always be careful so they won’t become snatching victims and to report the convergence of adults and kids in their respective areas to sniff rugby.

RELATED STORY: Street kids in Cebu City need one-stop facility, not jail

/ dcb

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TAGS: Abellana police station, Cebu City, General maxilum Avenue, rugby-sniffing group

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