Soldiers uncover, burn marijuana plantations in Sulu

Authorities seized some P21 million worth of marijuana which they discovered when they raided two plantations in Kalingalang Caluang, Sulu on Friday, March 26.

(Photo from Joint Task Force Sulu / MANILA BULLETIN)

Col. Hernanie Songano, commander of Naval Task Group Sulu, said the marijuana plantations were found in Barangay Masjid Punjungan and both owned by a certain "Utoh."

Joint elements of the 4th Marine Brigade, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Sulu, and Sulu provincial police intelligence unit raided the plantation sites after receiving a tip from residents. 

Songano said the plantations were covered with around two hectares of fully-grown marijuana leaves.

"We have burned the marijuana on site and we will continue to scour the aforesaid area to locate other possible sites of marijuana plantation," Songano said.

Meanwhile, the military, police, and PDEA have launched a follow up operation for the possible arrest of Utoh.

Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, commended the 4th Marine Brigade for the swift coordination with the police and PDEA that led to the discovery of the plantations.

"It is also important to note that the locals are now very active in reporting illegal activities such this," Gonzales said.

In 2020, the Sulu-based Marines led various operations that resulted in the discovery and destruction of four major marijuana plantations.