More than P11-M marijuana plants destroyed in Kalinga

BAGUIO CITY — Law enforcement agents destroyed PHP11.04 million worth of marijuana in a joint two-day operations in Kalinga province from September 20 to 21, the Police Regional Office reported Monday night.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the National Bureau of Investigation Region 2 (NBI-R2) and the Philippine Army discovered nine plantation sites in an estimatat Barangay Buscalan, Tinglayan town, said Chief Supt. Elmo Sarona, regional director of Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR).

Anti-drug authorities were able to destroy and torch on site around 40,850 fully-grown marijuana plants  worth PHP11 million during “Oplan Katribu” at Mt. Chumanchil, Sitio Bato, Loccong, Tinglayan. The illegal plantation was estimated to be 6,900 square meters.

The municipal and barangay officials of Tinglayan, Kalinga also took part in the destruction of marijuana plants.

The police brought only representative samples to Kalinga Provincial Police Office as evidence.

Mt. Chumanchil, a mountainous area in Buscalan, has been known to grow high-grade marijuana plants.

It was the site of several marijuana eradication operations in the past, most recent of which was on the first week of August this year.

Sarona said that marijuana planting is one of the sources of livelihood of some residents in the area.

“The government is doing its best to implement the plans and programs to convince and prevent the people from planting marijuana,” he said.

The director called on residents who are engaged in the illegal activity of planting marijuana to instead shift to other sources of income, particularly to the livelihood project that the local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) have been teaching to the residents.

Sarona also directed all unit commanders to strengthen police operations and intensify intelligence build up against personalities involved in illegal drugs and put them behind bars.

Marijuana eradication operations are regularly conducted by government troopers in an effort to cut the supply of illegal drugs in the county.Liza Agoot/