MAGUINDANAO– Police and anti-narcotics agents in Lanao del Sur uprooted over the weekend some 40,000 fully grown marijuana plants with an estimated market value of P6 million, officials said on Monday.
Senior Inspector Jackly Bilibili of Lanao del Sur police office said joint elements of the Lanao del Sur police provincial office, 45th Infantry Battalion, Amai Manabilang town police office under Insp. Heherzon Zambale and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent Cieleto Llano, raided the marijuana plantation in Sitio Trapal, Barangay Mansilano, Amai Manabilang town in Lanao del Sur.
In his report to Chief Superintendent Ronald Estilles, police regional director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which has jurisdiction over Lanao del Sur, Bilibili said the operation led to the uprooting of more or less 40,000 fully grown stalks of marijuana planted in a corn field covering an estimated land area of 5.5 hectares.
Part of the seized marijuana plants, about 4,300 stalks, were hauled by the raiding team to the town hall. They were later burned with Mayor James Manabilang and other local officials standing as witnesses.
The rest of the uprooted marijuana stalks were destroyed in the area of eradication due to the distance of the area from the main road.
Several samples of the uprooted marijuana stalks were taken by the members of the PDEA for laboratory test.
Bilibili said the cultivators remained unknown as the raiding team found nobody at the site during the raid.
Earlier, police received a tip from concerned citizens about the presence of vast marijuana plantation in Sitio Trapal, Barangay Mansilano.
After securing a search warrant and proper coordination with other law enforcement agencies completed, the raid was conducted Sunday. pna