P5.4-M marijuana uprooted along SoCot, SK, DavSur boundary

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Government forces uprooted over the weekend around 27,000 fully grown marijuana plants worth around PHP5.4 million located in an upland area along the borders of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Davao del Sur provinces.

A report from the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office (SCPPO) said the marijuana plantation was discovered around 11 a.m. Saturday in the area covering portions of Sitio Alyong, Barangay Danlag in Tampakan, South Cotabato; Sitio Lamalis, Barangay Datalblao in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat; and, Sitio Lapla, Barangay Kimlawis in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.

Capt. Joseph Villanueva, acting chief of the Tampakan municipal police station, said Monday they earlier received reports from concerned residents about the presence of a marijuana plantation in the area.

Villanueva said they immediately coordinated with the SCPPO, Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 12.

A composite team from the three units left the town center of Tampakan around 9 p.m. for a joint law enforcement operation in the identified sites, he said.

Villanueva said they arrived at the site around 11 a.m. Saturday and found a vast marijuana plantation, adding they immediately uprooted and burned the plants with assistance from local leaders.

The operatives set aside at least 50 hills as evidence for the filing of charges against its cultivator.

“It was abandoned and the cultivators were no longer in the area at that time but local leaders were able to identify them,” he said.

Blaan tribal chieftain Dot Capion identified the owner of the said marijuana plantation as a certain Gugwelin Macondon, a resident of the area.

The suspect will be charged with violation of Section 16 (cultivation of plants classified as dangerous drugs) under Article II of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.  Wilnard Bacelonia and Alejandro Saludo / PNA – northboundasia.com