Police torch P5.1M worth of marijuana in Sibonga

MORE than 25,000 stalks of marijuana worth P5.1 million were burned in the Regional Public Safety Batallion (RPSB) 7 Camp in Sibonga, Cebu yesterday.

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, Police Regional Office 7 director, led the destruction of the banned herb, which has a psychoactive element that can damage the mind of the user.

Taliño said marijuana is the second most abused drug next to shabu and the entire police force still has “watchful eyes” over the possible proliferation of the plant in other areas of the region.

“Marijuana is still regarded as a dangerous drug,” said Taliño.

In other countries and some states of America, the regulated use of marijuana is already legal.

Taliño, however, said the operation against illegal drugs also includes marijuana and they will not stop raiding the uplands in Cebu where these plants are often cultivated.

Sibonga Mayor Caroline Bacaltos and other officials witnessed the burning of the marijuana stalks.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 personnel, led by Assistant Director Wardley Getalla, supervised the destruction.

Cold weather

The marijuana plants were uprooted in a series of operations from Aug. 15 until Aug. 20 this year in the villages of Alowijao, Patong and Basiao in Badian and in Bayong, Balamban.

Officials from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7, quoted in earlier reports, said marijuana thrives in the mountainous areas of Balamban, Badian and Danao City because of the cold weather.

The marijuana plants in Balamban are of higher quality because the place has several water sources, and are usually bigger than those grown in other places.

No farmers were caught by the RPSB 7 personnel during the operations.

Cultivating marijuana is prohibited under the Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

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