Rugby supplier nabbed in Lapu buy-bust

THE alleged supplier of rugby that reportedly led minors to do robbery in Lapu-Lapu City was arrested by police in a buy-bust operation Monday afternoon, September 26, 2022.

The suspect was identified as 27-year-old Ricky Berdin, a resident of Sitio Balanghoy, Barangay Gun-ob in the city.

The suspect was nabbed along Jy Delacerna St., Barangay Poblacion, wherein he was caught with a bottle containing rugby and plastic cellophanes, one of which also contained rugby.

Berdin was reportedly detained prior to this arrest after he was allegedly caught with rugby and drugs in his possession.

He admitted to Mayor Junard "Ahong" Chan that he had been using rugby since he was five years old.

He said his buyers, particularly minors, would demand and threaten him with knives and guns if he refuses or stops selling it to them.

Berdin said an individual can buy rugby from him for as low as P10.

Chan expressed gratitude toward the police for their immediate response to the problem of the youth in the city.

"Akong pasidaan ngadto sa mga batan-on nga sige pa'g rugby karon. Undanga na ninyo kay kami dili gyud moundang sa pag-ronda, pagsikop ninyo, dili mi managana," said Chan.

Police Major Ramil Dugan, chief of the Police Station 3 in Lapu-Lapu City, told SunStar Cebu that the buy-bust operation was made after Berdin was pointed to be the supplier of rugby by the suspects who were arrested Monday.

Three individuals, including two minors, were earlier arrested by police for allegedly stealing the earnings of a blind person while the latter was selling candles at the Muelle Osmeña or bridge in Lapu-Lapu City.

Lapu-Lapu City Police Office Public Information Officer Judith Besas said the suspects allegedly stole the money of a certain Veronica in two separate instances, one of which occurred on Saturday, September 24, while the latest was on Sunday, September 25.

She said the two minors were brought to the Home Care Center in Barangay Poblacion for proper intervention, while the 18-year-old Cleve Ardiente was detained at the police station.

Besas said the suspects were also involved in other robbery incidents.

Ardiente is expected to face a case of robbery with force intimidation, while Presidential Decree 1619 or Selling of Volatile Substance will be filed against Berdin. (MKG)