STEPHEN (real name withheld) said he wants to become a police officer.

Ganahan ko mapriso ang mga badlungon (I would like to arrest the bad guys),” he said, smiling.

The frail, ragged nine-year-old boy was one of the 11 children rescued by Mabolo Police Station personnel.

Stephen and his friends often sniffed rugby under the bridge on Pope John Paul Ave. near the Mabolo National High School.

Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu, the Mabolo Police Station head, said they are looking for the minors’ parents, who will possibly face criminal complaints.

“This is considered as child abuse. They are abandoning their children at the same time endangering the safety of the children,” he told reporters yesterday.

The minors built makeshift rooms under the bridge. The police found some bladed weapons.

Ang worst pa ani naay mga bata, age 10 years old, mag-sex (The worst thing is some of these children, aged 10, are engaged in sex activities),” said Tiu.

Tiu and his team coordinated with Mabolo Barangay Captain Rey Ompoc in rounding up the minors who are from Barangays Pasil and Duljo-Fatima.

The police official said they received reports that more than 20 minors, including their leader, hid under the bridge around 5 p.m. and came out late at night.

The minors have allegedly robbed some employees working in a mall nearby at past 10 p.m.

For his part, Ompoc said he will ask Cebu City Acting Mayor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña what to do with the children.

Ang amo lang matabangan mi ini (I hope we can get help for this problem),” he said.

Barangay employees started to fence the bridge with barbed wires yesterday to prevent the minors from going back to the creek.

Rescued street children often land in Parian Drop-in Center, which is Osmeña’s brainchild.

Tiu urged the City Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) to help the police in tracking down the parents and filing cases against the parents.

When he was still the chief of Cebu City Police Station 2, Tiu was active in rescuing street children.

He figured in a controversy when one of the minors, Chastity Mirabiles, died after she was released from the police station on April 6, 2015.

Tiu stood by his earlier statement that he and his personnel were not responsible for the death of Mirabiles, 11.


Ang mga bata dapat safety sila (The children should be safe),” he said.

Osmeña will meet today with some City officials tasked to address the problems affecting street children.

Osmeña will meet with DSWS Head Esther Concha, Anti-Mendicancy Office Executive Director Isabelita Ganub, Task Force for Better Life Head Alvin Santillana, Task Force on Street Children, and the Commission for the Welfare and Protection of Children.

She wants these officials to submit their projects for street children.

Although her office received reports from Ganub, Osmeña likened these to “coloring books.”

As for DSWS, Osmeña said the department already submitted their profiling of at least 600 street children in the City.

“But what is the program? Where is the program because the funds given by DSWD was supposed to be used for that,” Osmeña said.

She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) gave a substantial amount to the DSWS to implement a comprehensive program for street children, families and indigenous people, particularly the Badjao community in January.

Osmeña also wants to check on the facility built in Barangay Lorega last Feburary.

The meeting will be held at the Parian Drop-in Center at 11 a.m.