Police suspect local farmers are the cultivators of P17-M marijuana plants uncovered in Toledo City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The suspects responsible for the cultivation of the 43,000 fully grown marijuana plant valued at P17 million that were uprooted in Sitio Hikapon, Barangay General Climaco, Toledo City on Friday, December 6, may just be farmers in the area, police said.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Dominick Poblete, head of the 2nd Police Mobile Force Company (PMFC) who headed the uprooting of the marijuana plants, told CDN Digital that it was already the fifth time they uprooted the prohibited plants in the area.
Poblete said they suspected that the farmers living nearby were the cultivators, especially after the police were informed by the barangay captain of General Climaco that residents in his village have been having a hard time making both ends meet to support their families.
Given the huge market for dried marijuana leaves and with its value so much higher than fruits or vegetables, it would not be a surprise that the farmers would be entices into planting marijuana instead.
However, Poblete said other drug personalities could also be responsible for maintaining the marijuana plantation in the barangay.
The 2nd PMFC team found the marijuana plantation past 8 a.m. on Friday. The operation was prompted by an information reaching the unit that armed men were seen roaming in the mountain barangays of General Climaco, Pangamihan and Biga in Toledo City, especially during night time.
According to Poblete, their men were already patrolling an the area in Barangay General Climaco, when they came across the numerous suspected marijuana plants.
In order to address the marijuana plantation problem in the area, Poblete said he met with the councilmen the barangay and suggested that they seek help from the city government of Toledo and ask for free seedlings and crops that they could instead plant.
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