SPANNING two hectares, the marijuana plantation discovered in Bukidnon is believed to be the biggest of its kind in Northern Mindanao, authorities said.

As of Sunday, government troops and anti-narcotics agents had yet to finish uprooting marijuana plants within the vast expanse in Cabanglasan town in Bukidnon province, said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Northern Mindanao in a statement over the weekend.

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Aided by government troops, PDEA operatives conducted surveillance on the marijuana plantation since last Tuesday, and swooped down on the area late last week. Due to bad weather condition, however, the uprooting of marijuana plants had to be stopped Saturday, the anti-drug agency said.

PDEA-Northern Mindanao Director Gilberto Ababanto Jr. said the plantation was protected by armed groups, who scurried away as anti-narcotics agents and soldiers belonging the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade raided the plantation in the mountains of Sitio Lulobong, Barangay Canangaan.

Some dried marijuana leaves were also discovered in a makeshift hut near the plantation.

The PDEA said the marijuana plantation has an estimated street value of P21-million. It said it was the biggest marijuana plantation discovered in Northern Mindanao.

Military officials in Bukidnon, however, said that the plantation was being maintained by the New People’s Army’s Front Committee 89. It said the plantation could have been one of the rebel’s sources of income to finance the movement in the province.