British national, live-in partner nabbed for growing marijuana

SUBIC, Zambales — A British national and his live-in partner were arrested on Friday yielding more than 70 potted marijuana plants inside their rented apartment in a subdivision here.

Senior Supt. Felix Verbo Jr, director of the Zambales Provincial Police Office, identified the suspects as Simon Stuart Mclaren Watson, 42, and his live-in partner Rizza Fernandez, 28, temporarily living at a rented house in Magdalena Home Subdivision, Sto Tomas, in this town.

The successful operation was conducted by the joint elements of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-3) and Zambales Provincial Police Office (ZPPO).

Verbo said operatives discovered more than 70 potted marijuana plants inside the two bedrooms of the house where they were grown until being sold to foreigners.

He added that the illegal plants worth PHP5-million are called Kush, a strain of Cannabis indica originated from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

PDEA 3 Regional Director Gil Pabilona said the suspects were put under surveillance for a month after an information was received from concerned citizens that the house rented by the suspects is being used to sell illegal drugs to foreigners.

Upon collecting sufficient evidence, police and PDEA, together with local government and barangay officials, laid out a buy-bust operation.

Watson allowed the undercover agent to enter his rented house where the selling of marijuana was made. After the transaction was done, the arrest was made.

Fernandez denied using marijuana, however, alleging that the plants are for personal use of Watson to cure his asthma and spine injury. (
Mahatma Datu/