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PIA Press Release

Gov't troops destroy P28.1-M worth of marijuana plants in Ilocos tri-boundary

By Freddie G. Lazaro

Camp BGen Oscar Florendo, La Union (12 November) -- Combined forces of different government law enforcement agencies destroyed some P28.1 million worth of marijuana plants from separate plantations during a 3-day operation in the mountainous areas near the tri - boundary of Benguet, La Union and Ilocos Sur over the weekend, it was reported Wednesday.

Chief Superintendent Luizo C. Ticman, Ilocos region police director, said that the troops were able to uproot a total of more or less 132,000 fully-grown Marijuana plants, 6,350 MJ seedlings and confiscated 55 kilos MJ dried leaves with an overall Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) value of P28,129,000.

The marijuana plantations were discovered in the hinterlands located in Sitios Tebteb and Balbalnag in Barangay Badeo, Kibungan, Benguet and in Barangay Sasaba, Santol, La Union; and said to be near the tri-boundaries of Benguet, La Union and Ilocos Sur.

According to Ticman, the marijuana eradication is part of Oplan Apolgreen Scorpion initiated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

He disclosed the successful operation on the marijuana eradication was jointly conducted by the members of the PDEA-Cordillera Region, the PDEA-Region 1, Police Regional Mobile Group – 1, La Union Police Provincial Mobile Group, army's 50th Infantry Battalion, La Union Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group, Military Intelligence Group – 1, and Tactical Operations Group – 1 of the 1st Air Division of the Philippine Air Force.

"Our campaign against illegal drugs is continuing, I would like commend the joint efforts of the different government law enforcement agencies for their successful operation on uprooting marijuana plants in the hinterlands near the tri –boundary of La Union, Ilocos Sur and Benguet," Ticman said.

However, Ticman conceded that no marijuana cultivators had been arrested because most of the plantations areas were located in hilly and remote areas inaccessible to vehicles except helicopter.

He ordered his men to verify earlier reports that the New People's Army (NPA) is involved in the continuous proliferation of vast marijuana plantations as a source of funds.

"I ordered a no let-up operation against marijuana cultivation and shipment in view of previous operations that led to the discovery of several plantation sites, mostly in the tri-boundary of Ilocos Sur, La Union and Benguet," Ticman added. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]

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