DESTROYED. Part of the PHP12 million worth of marijuana plants uprooted in Maguing, Lanao del Sur are set ablaze by the police and Army raiding team on Friday (July 29, 2022). Five assorted firearms left behind by the marijuana cultivators were also seized by the operating troops. (Photo from Lanao del Sur PPO)

CAMP SK PENDATUN, Maguindanao – Police and Army personnel destroyed Friday marijuana plants amounting to PHP12 million in Maguing, Lanao del Sur.

Col. Jibin Boncayao, Lanao del Sur provincial police director, said the marijuana plantation, located on a three-hectare farm in Barangay Bato-Bato, was tipped off by concerned citizens.

Five assault rifles were also recovered in a shanty near the plantation, believed to have served as observation and checkpoints of the marijuana cultivators.

“We suspect the cultivators and owners of the plantation fled after seeing police forces heading to the farm,” Bongcayao said of the 5 a.m. police raid.

The high-powered firearms consisted of two .50-caliber homemade sniper rifles, an AK-47 rifle, an M16 rifle, and an M203 rifle.

He said Army troopers of the 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Marawi City helped during the law enforcement operation.

Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabalona, police director for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, hailed the operating units, as well as the civilians who tipped authorities about the illegal plantation.  (PNA)