MARIJUANA PLANTATION. An agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, together with police counterparts, uproots fully grown marijuana plants worth PHP3.6 million from a 1.5-hectare plantation in an area at the border of barangays Danlag and Tablu in Tampakan, South Cotabato on Thursday (Sept. 1, 2022). About 12,000 marijuana plants were destroyed by law enforcers during the operation. (Photo courtesy of Juvy Legarta)

KORONADAL CITY – Police and anti-drug enforcement agents uprooted about PHP3.6 million worth of fully grown marijuana plants in two remote barangays in Tampakan town, South Cotabato, a police official said Friday.

Capt. Juncint Aput, Tampakan police chief, said the 12,000 marijuana plants were discovered on a 1.5-hectare land in the boundary of barangays Danlag and Tablu on Thursday afternoon.

“Based on the assessment of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the illegal plants have an estimated value of PHP3.6 million,” he said.

Aput said the marijuana plantation was about four hours from the town center, amid challenging motorcycle riding and trek on perilous terrain.

He said the Tampakan police and PDEA personnel launched the operation after a tip from the locals.

Aput said they have yet to identify the cultivator of the plants.

“When we arrived in the area, nobody was around. We cannot identify also the owner of the land because it is a subject of tribal land dispute,” he said.

A huge portion of the uprooted marijuana plants was burned in the area, while a substantial amount of samples was brought by PDEA agents for chemistry examination. (PNA)