TACURONG CITY (MindaNews / 29 January) – At least 13,000 mature marijuana plants were destroyed by authorities in Tampakan town in South Cotabato on Thursday.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) XII on Thursday morning held a ceremonial burning of the marijuana plants with an estimated street value of P2.6 million at the municipal grounds in Barangay Poblacion, Tampakan.
The plants were uprooted during the joint operation by PDEA South Cotabato, South Cotabato Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, Tampakan Municipal Police Station, and members of the provincial police office last January 14.
The operatives acted on reports from concerned citizens regarding a marijuana plantation being cultivated by a local farmer in Sitio Bong Sbang, Barangay Danlag, Tampakan.
PDEA-XII earlier said the marijuana plants were cultivated by a certain Jimben Sinaya, but he “was able to fled in an unknown direction upon sensing the arrival of the operatives.”
PDEA-XII director Naravy Duquiatan previously said the operatives burned at the site some of the uprooted marijuana plants, with an estimated street value of P200 each, and brought down some of the seized items as evidence.
During the ceremonial burning, Duquiatan said the destruction of the prohibited plants “is an indicator of the relentless campaign of the operatives to clear our region from the problem of illegal drugs.”
“This ceremonial burning is a symbolic gesture of our collective effort in the fight against illegal drugs,” she said.
In September last year, operatives uprooted at least 10,000 hills of marijuana plants in a plantation in Sitio Alyong, also in Barangay Danlag.
Two months later, 2,500 mature marijuana plants were uprooted in Sitio Alyong and Sitio Atbol, Barangay Kimlawis in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.
Authorities alleged the New People’s Army is protecting marijuana plantations in these areas. (Warren Elijah E. Valdez/MindaNews)