BAGUIO CITY — Joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and different units under the Police Regional Office in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have destroyed PHP5.6 million worth of marijuana in hinterlands of Tinglayan town in Kalinga.
“Destroyed during the eradication on May 28 were 28,300 pieces of fully grown marijuana plants and 1,000 pieces of marijuana seedlings in 10 separate plantation sites located at Butbut Proper, Tinglayan, Kalinga,” Edgar Apalla, PDEA-CAR regional director, said in a report sent to the media Wednesday.
Apalla said the plantation sites totaled 2,931 square meters.
He also said the uprooted plants were burned on site.
The director said the eradication operation was covered by PDEA-CAR’s “Oplan Linis Barangay XI” and PNP’s “Oplan Green Pearl Bravo”.
Rosel Sarmiento, PDEA-CAR information officer, said the operatives composed of personnel from the anti-narcotic operatives of PDEA-Kalinga Provincial Office, Tinglayan and Lubuagan Municipal Police Stations, 1st and 2nd Company of the Kalinga police mobile force company, Drug Enforcement Unit and the Provincial Intelligence Branch had to travel for hours on one-lane uphill rugged road to reach the jump-off point.
This is followed by a hike on the mountainsides to reach the target area.
The difficulty and long travels and walking time could have given the “farmers” a lead time to escape, thus no suspects were found on site.
“Based on the rugged area where the plantations were located, the suspects fled when they heard operatives hiking up the mountainous areas,” Sarmiento said.
She said this situation is similar in most plantation areas in the Cordillera, which operatives, however, pursue to reach, to destroy what could possibly end up on the hands of drug users in urban areas in the country.
Sarmiento said the recent operation is one of the several successful eradications conducted by the government’s anti-drug agents in the municipality of Tinglayan in Kalinga province.
The PDEA officers emphasize while there is a difficulty reaching the plantation sites, the government will not stop in its effort to destroy marijuana plantations in the area.
They also reminded individuals that cultivation of marijuana is prohibited under Sec.16 Article II of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Liza Agoot / PNA – northboundasia.com