Benguet marijuana plantations burned

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La Trinidad, Benguet: Anti-drug units have burned a total of 80 hectares of marijuana plantations worth more than P2 billion in Mount Chumanchil, in the village of Loccong, Tinglayan town in Kalinga.

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Around 18 plantation sites totaling 16.2655 hectares yielded P2,249,145,000 worth of marijuana, the biggest haul so far this year in the highland region.

The four-day eradication campaign destroyed 11,605,250 pieces of fully-grown marijuana, 220,000 grams of dried marijuana leaves and 45,000 grams of marijuana seedlings.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera director Juvenal Azurin said Mount Chumanchil abounds in illicit marijuana plantations that could reach up to 80 hectares.

Kalinga Gov. Jocel Baac confirmed a proliferation of plantations in Loccong but cited socio-economic reasons behind the “illegal agriculture” among villagers.

Baac said the illegal agricultural activity has long been there since the time of Fidel V. Ramos as chief of the now defunct Philippine Constabulary and the police who have consistently ordered the burning of marijuana plants.

THOM F. PICAÑA

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