ZAMBOANGA CITY: Policemen and soldiers raided a marijuana plantation and uprooted 10,000 fully grown plants in the town of Kalingalan Caluang in Sulu province, officials said Monday.

Officials said two farmers managed to escape the weekend raid in the village called Masjid Bayle and are being hunted by the police.

BGen. Eden Ugale, regional police director, said an estimated P8.6 million worth of marijuana plants were destroyed. He also commended the successful operation and lauded troops who took part in the raid.

"PRO-BAR will remain relentless in its campaign against illegal drugs and criminality to maintain peace and order in the Bangsamoro region," he said, referring to the police forces in the Muslim autonomous region.

The operation was participated by the Sulu Police Provincial Office, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine Marines, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Regional Intelligence Unit, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Special Action Force.

Ugale, quoting a report from the Sulu Police Provincial Office, identified the two farmers who escaped the raid only as Jabs and Aksan.

"They were able to elude arrest and they are among the cultivators of the 10,000 square meter marijuana plantation. Uprooted evidence was burned in the area of operation and sample evidence was submitted to Sulu Provincial Crime Laboratory Office. In addition, a case is being prepared for filing against the at-large suspects for violating the RA 9165 or the 'Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002'," Ugale said.