Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Soldiers, police uproot marijuana worth P13.7-M in Agusan province

TROOPS of the 26th Infantry Battalion and personnel of the Loreto Municipal Police Station uprooted P13.7 million-worth of marijuana plants in two plantation sites they discovered at the outskirts of Loreto, Agusan del Sur at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The team successfully uprooted a total of 29,000 fully grown marijuana plants in the first site and 26,100 plants in the second site, both located in the mountain slopes of Purok Bagul, Sitio Mactan, about 25 kilometers from the center of the hinterland Barangay Kasapa 1.

Loreto, a first-class municipality around 116 kilometers away from Davao City, shares boundary with Bukidnon in the west, Davao del Norte in the south and Compostela Valley in the south-east.

Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said the uprooted plants were immediately turned over to the Agusan Provincial Police Office.

Lt. Col. Rommel Pagayon, commanding officer of 26th IB, said the recent operation was part of the intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

“We have seized 4.6-M worth of shabu and arrested two drug personalities in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur and now P13.7-M worth of marijuana in Loreto,” Pagayon said. “I could barely imagine the devastating effect of these illegal drugs if they fell on the hands of the people especially on innocent ones.”

He credited the close coordination among the community, police and military in recent successful operations. He said the military will even triple their efforts to reduce drug volume in their area of jurisdiction.

The raid was conducted right after the three-day Law Enforcement Operations Trainers Training was held at the headquarters of the 4th ID in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City.

For his part, Maj. Gen Benjamin Madrigal Jr., 4th ID commander, lauded the operation.

“This is a very big achievement considering the amount of seized marijuana could possibly destroy thousands of innocent lives,” Madrigal said. ”I urge everyone to give all the necessary information that would lead us to the location of these illegal activities.”

“Together, we can solve this illegal drug menace and save our next generation,” Madrigal added.

Since most of the barangays in the town are inaccessible with motor vehicles, the town is a favorite cultivation area of marijuana planters.

Last July 2, authorities uprooted P15.6 million-worth of marijuana, also in Barangay Kasapa 1.

On June 15, 2016, police seized P6.6 million-worth of newly harvested marijuana in the hinterland barangay of Waloe in the same town.

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