P2.6-M worth of marijuana plants busted in South Cotabato

Officials burn some of the marijuana plants discovered in the mountainous borders of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and Davao del Sur on Wednesday (23 October 2019) in Tampakan, South Cotabato. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 14 January) — Authorities busted another big marijuana plantation in Tampakan, South Cotabato Thursday morning, a top police official said.

Col. Jemuel Siason, South Cotabato police director, said the joint operatives uprooted 13,000 fully-grown marijuana plants with an estimated street value of P2.6 million.

The team composed of the police, military and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency raided the marijuana plantation in Sitio Bong Sbang, Barangay Danlag at around 6:30 a.m., Siason said.

He identified the alleged cultivator of the marijuana plantation as Jimben Sinaya, who managed to elude the arresting team.

The team brought down some marijuana plants that will be used as evidence to file violations of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the official said.

This was not the first time that authorities busted a marijuana plantation in Tampakan town.

In October 2019, authorities uprooted some 38,500 mature marijuana plants with an estimated street value of P7.7 million.

The latest and the 2019 marijuana busts are both within the mines tenement site of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), operator of the largest known undeveloped copper and gold minefield in Southeast Asia.

SMI has been cooperating with authorities to flush out illegal activities within its mining tenement. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)