P6.4 M marijuana stalks uprooted in Toledo City, cultivator escapes
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The police cited strong community cooperation behind the discovery and destruction on Monday, July 26, of marijuana plants worth P6.4 million in Sitio Buyong, Barangay Matab-ang, Toledo City in southwestern Cebu.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Junnel Caadlawon, Toledo City Police Station chief, said that since they are undermanned, they have to rely on information provided by the community including barangay officials and advocacy groups to make an efficient drug campaign and monitoring.
On Monday afternoon, the joint forces of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB-7) and the local police of Toledo City uprooted around 32,000 fully-grown marijuana stalks with an estimated market value of P6,400,000.
Caadlawon said they have been monitoring the area for a week. However, they failed to arrest the 40-year-old suspected cultivator whom he refused to name.
He said they are now processing the filing of a case for violation of Section 16, Article 2 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, before the court. Once the court issues a warrant of arrest against the suspect, they will then locate and arrest him.
As to reports that most marijuana cultivators are farmers, Caadlawon said this is not the case since real farmers only engage in legal farming.
“Actually, di gyud na nato siya mahug nga farmer kay og farmer, they are engaged in legal farming. So kani siya, matawag nato nga kato ning mga tawo nga di lang gyud gusto nga maglisod ba, nga gustog dali ra nga kwarta,” Caadlawon said.
Caadlawon admitted that the problem on marijuana plantations in Cebu’s mountain barangays has long been a headache for the police, but thanked the immense support that they have been receiving from the community.
Caadlawon said that despite limited manpower, they were able to put up constant monitoring and relentless operations by coordinating and meeting with the officials from Toledo’s City’s 38 barangays.
Caadlawon added that of the city’s 38 barangays, 27 are located in the city’s mountain areas while 11 are coastal villages. /rcg
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