CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – More than 18,850 pieces of fully grown marijuana plants and seedlings having a total market value of approximately P7 million were successfully destroyed by combined police operatives and anti-narcotics agents during a massive marijuana eradication operation in barangay Badeo, Kibungan here over the weekend.
Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., Benguet provincial director, said the destroyed marijuana plants were distributed in five plantation sites in the barangay which greatly helped in significantly reducing the supply of the illegal hemp being brought outside the Cordilleras.
“We appreciate the cooperation of the public in our series of successful marijuana eradication operations because they continue to provide us with vital information that often result to our positive operations,” Azurin said.
Azurin said police operatives and anti-narcotics agents have to step up their campaign against the proliferation of marijuana in the market considering that it is now the harvest time of the illegal hemp and cultivators are now working double time to harvest their produce and have it processed for a higher market price.
According to Azurin, one kilo of dried marijuana leaves in brick form is pegged at P25,000 to P35,000 depending on the grade of the illegal hemp used in the said final product.
Marijuana is usually grown in the tri-boundaries of Benguet, La Union and Ilocos Sur, specifically in the towns of Bakun, Kapangan and Kibungan, Benguet; San Gabriel, Sudipen and Santol in La Union and parts of Alilem and Cervantes in Ilocos Sur.
Azurin admitted that no marijuana cultivator was arrested during their surprise marijuana eradication operation because they were informed by people living in the nearby communities of the presence of law enforcers whose target are the five marijuana plantation sites in their place.
The police official vowed to intensify their marijuana eradication operations within the next several months in order to reduce the supply of marijuana plants being circulated inside and outside the region so that the plants will be destroyed while they are not harvested by the cultivators.
By Dexter A. See