TORCHED MARIJUANA PLANTS. State forces pose after setting ablaze part of the PHP10 million worth of marijuana plants seized in Barangay Batobato, Maguing, Lanao del Sur, on Saturday (Sept. 17, 2022). Concerned citizens tipped authorities on the existence of the vast marijuana plantation. (Photo courtesy of Lanao del Sur PPO)

CAMP SK PENDATUN, Maguindanao – Anti-drugs operatives destroyed PHP10 million worth of marijuana plants and arrested two individuals in separate operations in Lanao del Sur over the weekend, police said Monday.   

In a report, Col. Jibin Bongcayao, Lanao del Sur police chief, said law enforcement authorities raided the marijuana farm Saturday in Barangay Batobato, Maguing, Lanao del Sur.

Bongcayao said the operation was carried out after residents alerted the police about the existence of a vast marijuana plantation in the mountainous area of the town.

The uprooted marijuana plants were torched on the ground while a part of it was taken as evidence against suspected cultivators, who managed to flee before the arrival of the raiding team.

“The farm owner has been identified though,” Bongcayao said.

On Sunday evening, members of the Lanao del Sur police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) arrested two alleged marijuana peddlers in Marawi City during a follow-up operation.

He identified the arrested suspects as Abdulrahman Galawan, 25, and Arham Benaning, 30, both residents of Barangay Datu Saber, Marawi City.

“Both were arrested during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Mipantao Gadongan, Marawi City at about 7 p.m. Sunday,” Bongcayao said.

Seized from the duo were five kilos of dried marijuana leaves with an estimated street value of PHP600,000.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002" are readied against the suspects. (PNA)