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‘Libod-suroy’ minors in Cebu City alarm police

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 11,2024 - 07:29 PM

libod-suroy kids

A Councilor in Cebu City wants ordinance vs. ‘rugby boys’, and their negligent parents.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – ‘Libud-suroy’ minors or street kids are again making their unwelcome presence in Cebu City and law enforcement agents expressed alarm.

Videos that surfaced recently, show many young children engaging in illegal activities, such as sniffing rugby, along the streets of Cebu City.

According to Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, Deputy Director for Operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), this has become a major problem for both authorities and citizens .

Last Tuesday, April 9, a group of minors were caught in a video sniffing what looked like rugby from a plastic bag while riding in a passenger utility jeepney from uptown to downtown Cebu City.

READ: Mga batang libod-suroy gi-birthday-han


After the video was posted on the internet, an investigation was conducted and two of the five “rugby boys” have been rescued by police.

Following this incident, Rafter relayed that the Abellana Police Station has been conducting rescue operations of children referred to as “libod-suroy” minors even before the video went viral.

“Libod-Suroy” is a Cebuano phrase  that means roaming around or a vagrant.  The term is also a slang reference for street children.

She narrated that police officers were previously able to enter an area along Maxilom Avenue, which was used as a meeting place by a group of rowdy minors.

Abellana police conducted another series of rescue operations in their area on Wednesday evening, April 10, 2024.

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


As a result, more minors were rescued and turned over to the local government units in each of their residences in the city.

“Nagconduct sila og mga series of operations, not just from that area but within the immediate vicinity of the barangay under sa Station 2. This was in coordination with the (Department of Social Welfare and Services) DSWS, together with the (Women and Children’s Protection Desk) WCPD nato,” stated Rafter.

“Naa gyuy mga nakuha nga mga bata. And they are now at the community scout,” she added.

Rafter explained that their procedure is that when ‘libod-suroy’ minors are rescued, they are to be turned over to the barangay before being placed at the community scout for rehabilitation. 

Because children are learning bad habits at their young age, Raffer relayed that this problem has become alarming.

“Of course, alarming jud na siya kaayo. It’s very alarming. That’s why instruction gyud pud na sa atong mayor. Isa gyud na sa programa sa atong mayor, ni mayor Michael Rama, nga irescue gyud na sila now and then,” she said.

READ: Marcos order boosts aid for street kids, homeless


However, Rafter admitted that there are several challenges in carrying out these operations.

One of these, she mentioned, is that children who are turned over back to their parents after being rescued tend to go back to their errant ways shortly after.

“At their young age, these kids or these children should be at their home or naa sa eskwelahan, nag-eskwela, nag-study. Dili unta ning mga bataa anaa sa atoang kadalanan…Medyo alarming gyud siya kay that is not usual for any kids, for children to be roaming around the streets, much more doing in ato nga di maayo nga dili maayo,” she said.

Despite these limitations, Rafter assured that the authorities are doing their best in order to find the best solution to the long-standing problem involving ‘libod-suroy’ minors.

With this goal, police are set to have a coordination meeting with DSWS, local government units, and the facilitator of the community scout.

“Hopefully, ma-iron out, maklaro na gyud ba ang unsay kinsay pwede, ug unsay pwede, ug kanus-a pwede nato ibutang didto ang usa ka bata nga at risk,” stated Rafter.

Rafter added that they aim to find a solution as it would not be feasible to place all rescued minors at the facility no matter how big it is.

She further said that it is also the parents’ responsibilities to teach their children to behave in a proper manner.

Rafter added that they will be looking into the possibility of making parents more liable for the reckless behavior of their kids on the streets.

However, she advised members of the community to also show empathy towards the ‘libod-suroy’ minors who are still young and in need of proper guidance.

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TAGS: crimes, Libod-Suroy, minors, street kids

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