Police round up 80 adults, minors in uptown, downtown Cebu-A A +A
Thursday, May 8, 2014
ABOUT 80 adults and children were rounded up by the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) last Tuesday evening through Wednesday dawn.
The activity was conducted under the CCPO’s Oplan Libod-Suroy operation in uptown and downtown Cebu City.
CCPO Director Noli Romana ordered the operation following the increase in street crimes in the city, usually victimizing foreign nationals.
Insp. Luzviminda Langbid of the WCPD said 55 of those rounded up were minors while 24 were adults.
Seven of the minors have previous records in the Theft and Robbery Section but were released as provided under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
“Police already told them (the minors) to stop stealing because if they are caught the next time, they will not be released,” said Langbid.
Of the minors rounded up, 29 are aged 15 and below. They were brought to the Pari-an Drop-In Center but were later claimed by their parents.
Minors aged 16 and 17 were either brought to the Community Scouts Youth Rehabilitation and Guidance Center or the Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS).
Based on previous operations, Langbid observed that the children were not homeless or orphans.
“Ang sulti sa mga nag-claim na parents sa mga bata kay ila ra kuno ning gisugo kay naay gipapalit (Parents who fetched the minors claimed that they only asked their
children to buy something),” Langbid told Sun.Star Cebu.
But Langbid said some of the children were told to beg on the streets.
The 24 adults rounded up were mostly cigarette vendors while some were caught sleeping on the street. But they were released because they all have homes in the city.
The police said most of those rounded up lived in the city but others lived as far as La Libertad, Negros Occidental.
“Those who are from other provinces are here to find livelihood,” said Langbid.
Insp. Wildemar Tiu, who led the operation, said Oplan Libod-Suroy is not only a crime prevention strategy but is also meant to clear the children off the streets and keep them safe.
Tiu said the operation covered Gorordo Ave., Gen. Maxilom Ave., Fuente Osmeña and Colon St.
Oplan Libod-Suroy was initiated by CCPO to rid the streets of dwellers like children and families.
Since the start of the year, several Oplan Libod-Suroy operations were conducted, said Langbid.
A few were rounded up in the afternoon of March 19. The operations were always conducted in coordination with the DSWS.
Tiu said City Ordinance 1631 or the Anti-Mendicancy Ordinance prohibits and penalizes both the giving and soliciting of cash or goods.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 09, 2014.