Twenty-three thousand fully-grown marijuana plants were uprooted in a half hectare plantation site and two cultivators were arrested during an eradication operation conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in collaboration with counterparts from the Philippine Army (PA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose S Gutierrez Jr. said that the plantation is composed of three adjacent sites in Sitio Cambangon Brgy. Lilingayon, Valencia City in Bukidnon. A total of 23,000 fully-grown marijuana plants with fruiting tops were uprooted during the operation.
Operatives of PDEA Regional Office 10 (PDEA RO 10) under Director Roberto S. Opeña, augmented by the 8th Infantry Battalion, PA, together with the local police, arrived at the remote location almost seven hours after they jumped-off from Cagayan De Oro in the early hours of November 4, 2011.
Two cultivators, identified as Nilo B. Abarquez and Jaypee P. Batlag, who were in the area, were immediately apprehended by members of the operating team. Abarquez and Batlag were paid to man the said plantation sites allegedly protected by a group of armed men, including a former barangay official.
“The conduct of marijuana eradication operation in Brgy. Lilingayon [Valencia City] was timely because the plants were already with fruiting tops and ripe for harvest. Fruiting tops, we call it ‘buntot pusa’, are used to produce resin oil. Our men were a step ahead of the people managing the plantation sites, thus we were able to harvest before they had the chance to do it themselves. Because of this, we have succeeded in denying the market with more supply of illegal drugs derived from marijuana,” the PDEA chief said.
Gutierrez commended the operating teams for a job well done, highlighting the importance of cooperation, pooling together of resources and collaboration of efforts of all law enforcement agencies in the successful enforcement of the anti-drug law. Evangeline DJ Almenario, Chief, Public Information Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency