P20M worth of marijuana plants uprooted in Toledo City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Law enforcers uprooted a total of 50, 000 stalks of fully grown marijuana plants worth P20 million from a plantation in Toledo City.
But they failed to make any arrests.
Colonel Robert Lingbawan, commander of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB-7), said that its cultivator, farmer Gerardo Allecer Nigue, 49, was already gone when they arrived in Sitio Guingcamote in Barangay Capitan Claudio at around noontime on Saturday, June 26.
As of this writing, Lingbawan said they continue to look for Nigue and his cohorts.
At the same time, they also continue to monitor activities in the mountain barangays of Balamban, Asturias and Toledo where most of the marijuana plantations in Cebu are located.
“Although mahirap akyatin, ang assessment namin, siguro meron pa dyan, di pa lang namin matumbok kasi napakalaki pa dyan, napakaluwag ng mga bukid na yan sa taas. Continues ang laban natin against illegal drugs, kung maalala nyo sunod sunod yung operations natin. Binabantayan natin ng maigi yan,” he said.
(While these areas are difficult to reach, based on our assessment, we know that there are still [plantations] there but we just can’t name its specific location because the place is very wide. We continue with our fight against illegal drugs and if you would recall, we did series of operations. We are closely monitoring these areas.)
He said they do not also discount the possibility of addicts shifting to the use of marijuana after law enforcers intensified its campaign against the proliferation of shabu.
But Lingbawan said that they are committed to go after marijuana growers and distributors to also stop its local distribution.
“Kahit na gaano sila kagaling magtago, with our intensified campaign ay hahanapin namin (sila),” Lingbawan said.
(Irregardless of how well they hide, with our intensified campaign we will evenatualy find them.)
Lingbawan said their operation on Saturday was organized following a tip from an informant who told them of the presence of a marijuana plantation in Sitio Guingcamote.
After they verified the information, they planned a joint operation with the 703rd Maneuver Company, 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7), and Naval Forces Central shortly after noontime on the same day.
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