By Zaldy Comanda
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet – Over P3 million worth of fully-grown marijuana plants and marijuana stalks were eradicated in the mountainous town of Kibungan, Kapangan and Bakun, in Benguet province by combined operating personnel of Benguet Provincial Police Office.
Police Colonel Elmer Ragay, provincial director, said the two-day marijuana eradication held on January 8 and 9 was for a total of 16,180 fully grown marijuana plants and five kilos of dried marijuana stalks worth P3.338 million.
Ragay said joint personnel of the Kapangan Municipal Police Stationh, led by P/Lt. Melvin Cante; barangay official of Beling-Belis, Benguet Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU), Benguet Police Intelligence Branch (PIB) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Cordillera conducted marijuana plantation validation at Gotgoto, Beleng-Belis, Kapangan that resulted in the discovery of more or less 15,000 fully grown marijuana plants with an estimated value of P3 million, which were planted in a lot measuring more or less 1,500 square meters.
In Bakun, a team led by P/Capt. John Dangiwan conducted marijuana eradication at Sitio Tubongan, Kayapa, Bakun, Benguet that resulted in the destruction of 1,060 fully grown marijuana plants planted in a land area of 270 square meters with estimated value of P212,000.
Personnel of the Kibungan Municipal Police Station also conducted raids on three sites in Sitio Dupinas Brgy. Palina, Kibungan, Benguet that resulted in the destruction of 120 fully grown marijuana plants on a 30 square meters lot with estimated value of P24,000.
Ragay added that while operating troops were scouring nearby areas for possible presence of marijuana plantation, they discovered five kilos of dried marijuana stalks worth P600,000.00 that were concealed under tall grasses near the plantation.
All marijuana plants during the three operations were uprooted and burned on site except for a few samples that will be submitted to the RCLO Cordillera for qualitative examination. Meanwhile, no cultivator was arrested during the operations.
Ragay commended the operating troops for a job well done and said that Benguet Police was optimistic and serious in its unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs and this recent operation will serve as a warning to all those who engage in the cultivation of illegal drugs.