Farmer-turned-tipster leads law enforcers to P8.7M marijuana plantations in Asturias

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | February 24,2021 - 04:18 PM

A tip from a concerned citizen led police and anti-drug operatives to two marijuana plantations in the town of Asturias which yielded 22,000 stalks of fully grown marijuana plants valued at P8.7 million.. | Contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A concerned citizen’s conscience led law enforcers to uproot over 20,000 fully grown marijuana stalks in Asturias town, northwest Cebu.

Cops from the Cebu Provincial Intelligence Unit (PIU), Provincial Police Office (CPPO), Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC), and agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) destroyed on Wednesday morning, February 24, at least two marijuana plantation sites in Brgy. Kaluangan, Asturias in separate operations.

The first operation involved a 800-square meter plantation site in Upper Kaluangan where 11,500 stalks, valued at approximately P4.5 million, were planted on the slopes of a remote area.

The second was located in Sitio Uling, also in Barangay Kaluangan, wherein 10,500 fully grown stalks worth P4.2 million were farmed within a 650-square meter site.

Police Lieutenant Lino Galvan III, deputy director of CPPO-PIU, told reporters in a phone interview that they initially received information last January from a concerned citizen about marijuana plants being cultivated in Upper Kaluangan in Barangay Kaluangan.

“The concerned citizen actually admitted that he was asked to plant seedlings but he only learned that these were marijuana later on, prompting him to tell the police about it,” said Galvan in Cebuano.

He said cops from the PIU coordinated with PDEA-7, Asturias Police Station, and PMFC to verify the tip, which also led them to discover the existence of a second marijuana site in the same village.

Galvan also confirmed that two suspects, identified as Jay-r Camaongay and Johnny ‘Yungko’ Escarpe, escaped. They were believed to be behind the cultivation of marijuana there.

“When we conducted the operation today, agents and police chased them but the terrain in the area was quite risky and slippery, making it difficult for our arresting officers to outrun them,” Galvan said.

As of this posting, PDEA-7 and the Cebu police are conducting a hot pursuit operation against the two, who reportedly have links to suspects arrested in previous anti-marijuana operations.

Asturias is a third-class municipality located 75 kilometers northwest of Cebu City. /rcg

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TAGS: Asturias town, concerned citizen, CPPO, marijuana, P8.7 million worth of marijuana, Pdea, PMFC, police

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