(Photo courtesy of PNP Public Information Office)

MANILA – Policemen have seized and destroyed over PHP95 million worth of marijuana plants in a series of operations in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Rizal, and Kalinga on Monday.

In a statement Tuesday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said members of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group and military troops uprooted around PHP32 million worth of marijuana plants at Barangay Dilimbayan in Maguing town, Lanao del Sur.

Around PHP25 million worth of marijuana plants were also destroyed at Barangay Ngibat in Tinglayan town, Kalinga.

In another operation in Barangay Bugnay, Tinglayan, operatives uprooted another PHP7 million worth of marijuana plants and burned onsite 125,000 fully grown marijuana plants worth PHP25 million planted on around 12,500 square meters of land.

In Taytay town, Rizal, authorities conducted a separate operation that yielded PHP6.3 million worth of marijuana.

Arrested in the operation were suspects Marvic Curuelos and Wilfredo Perez, who are both listed as high-value targets for illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms.

Also seized from the suspects are a .45-caliber pistol with two magazines loaded with five live ammunition each and one caliber 9mm pistol with two magazines loaded with five live ammunition each.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Police District said a high-value drug suspect yielded PHP10.2 million worth of shabu in a buy-bust operation in Marikina City on Monday night.

Habib Pangalain, 32, was arrested by members of the District Drug Enforcement Unit (DDEU) in an operation in Barangay Sto. Niño at around 10:45 p.m. on Monday.

The police confiscated an estimated 1.5 kilograms of suspected shabu and a tricycle from the suspect.

The seized drugs will be turned over to the EPD Forensic Unit for chemical analysis.

The suspect who is now under police custody will face charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2022. 

Tulong-tulong tayo sa pagsugpo ng krimen (Let's help each other in preventing crimes). These intensified efforts against the cultivation of marijuana plants are proof that we are serious about eradicating this illegal business. We ask the community to remain vigilant so we can hand-in-hand fight criminality,” Azurin said. (PNA)