P2.5-M illegal weed burned in Kalinga, Mountain Province boundary

COMBINED anti-narcotics agents uprooted P2.55 million worth of marijuana plants in the boundary of Sadanga, Mountain Province and Tinglayan, Kalinga.

On August 6, joint operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Police Regional Office (PRO)-Cordillera destroyed and burned illegal weeds in four plantation sites along the boundary of Saclit in Sadanga and Buscalan, Tinglayan.

Earlier this year, concerned residents and officials of Barangay Saclit, Sadanga approached the Sadanga Municipal Police Station (MPS) and reported the presence of marijuana plantations in their area.

Investigation revealed the area where the plantations are located is a disputed territory.

Saclit residents claim the cultivators come from the neighboring village of Buscalan have been encroaching and planting marijuana on their land.

"We do not want our barangay to be infected with Marijuana," a Saclit resident said.

After the eradication operation, Sadanga Mayor Gabino Ganggangan thanked the operatives and urged PDEA not to stop its efforts to maintain the drug-cleared status of Mountain Province.

The mayor earlier issued Executive Order 18 s. 2020, which bans tourists bound to Buscalan, Loccong, Bugnay and other barangays of the Butbut tribe from using the road section within the area of responsibility (AOR) of Sadanga as a measure to help stop or curb the marijuana business or its transshipment.

"We should cooperate and heed the call of our president to fight this kind of business in any effective measures we can," Ganggangan said in a statement.

The eradication operation was conducted under PDEA's Oplan "Pakhu" and PNP's Oplan "Grasshopper" by elements of PDEA-Mountain Province, PDEA-Mimaropa, Mountain Province Police Provincial Office, PNP-DEG SOU1, Criminal Investigation and Detective Group, RIU, RID, MPPMFC and Sadanga Municipal Police Station.

Despite the several marijuana eradications conducted in the region, cultivators have yet to be arrested. (SunStar Baguio)


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