Pubdate: Sat, 29 Jan 2005
Source: Manila Bulletin (The Philippines)
Author: Rizal S. Obanil
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Drug Enforcement 
Agency (PDEA), Philippine Army (PA), and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) 
have uprooted and burned marijuana plants valued at R60 million in a 
10-hectare plantation in Benguet.

Sketchy reports revealed that 300,000 fully grown marijuana plants were 
discovered and uprooted after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 
received a tip from an asset regarding a big marijuana plantation in the 
Cordillera Adminsitrative Region (CAR) province.

After a month-long surveillance, authorities from Benguet, the AFP, PAF, 
PDEA, NBI-CAR, and the NBI Anti-Drug Task Force led by lawyer Ruel Lasala 
immediately formed a team to raid the plantation.

The raiding teams were aided by air support from the PA and escorted by the 
502nd Infantry Brigade of the PA as they negotiated the tricky terrain 
towards the plantation.

The law enforcers succesfully reached the plantation and discovered and 
uprooted 300,000 marijuana plants.

Law enforcers then placed the marijuana plants in heaps before burning them.

Nobody was arrested in the raid as it was somehow anticipated by its 
cultivators and left the area before authorities reached the place.

Lasala said it was difficult locating the marijuana plantation as the area 
was in a cliff at the boundary of Kibungan and Bakun, Benguet.

Local officials witnessed the burning of the marijuana plants.

A team of NBI operatives is now currently tracking down the cultivators of 
the marijuana.

Benguet gained notoriety recently after it was revealed that land owners in 
the province who were into planting rice have shifted to planting marijuana.
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