KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO– Police authorities are keeping an eye on a marijuana plantation being maintained by Communist rebels in the boundary of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur as a source of funds for the New People’s Army (NPA).
This was disclosed by South Cotabato Police Director Col. Jemuel Siason, who said security forces earlier discovered a marijuana plantation in the boundary of Tampakan, South Cotabato and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur believed maintained by NPA rebels under Emmanuel Fernandez, alias Commander Bobo, who is the secretary-general of the NPA in the Far South Mindanao Region.
He said the raiding team uprooted last Thursday some 3,000 fully grown marijuana hills, cultivated by the rebels, worth P200,000 in the hinterland villages of Sitio Alyong, Barangay Danlag, Tampakan, and Sitio Atbol, Barangay KImlawis, Kiblawan.
He said the NPA rebels managed to escape before the raiding team arrived. The plantations were so isolated that the authorities had to walk for several hours before they could reach the area.
Police said the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has resorted to illegal drug trade to support its dwindling operational funds as it is gradually losing its mass base support following the intensified anti-insurgency campaign launched by government forces on NPA-infested communities.