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2,000 marijuana plants seized, burned in Cotabato farm

Marijuana plants uprooted from Jerome Tulosan's farm in Arakan, Cotabato province. John Unson
COTABATO, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Monday filed a criminal case against a farmer for propagating more than 2,000 marijuana plants that agents uprooted in Arakan town last Friday.
 
Police and PDEA-12 investigators jointly charged the 32-year-old Jerome Tulosan, who owns the farm in Barangay Sumalili in Arakan town in Cotabato province, with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
 
Cotabato province is also colloquially called North Cotabato to differentiate it from South Cotabato province.
 
Gil Cesario Castro, director of PDEA-12, said on Monday that their agents based in Cotabato learned of Tulosan’s propagation of marijuana plants from residents of Arakan who support the government's campaign against illegal drugs.
 
Cotabato Vice Gov. Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva told The STAR via text message Monday that she is grateful to PDEA-12 and the police for immediately acting on the tips about Tulosan’s criminal activity.
 
“Law enforcement is done easily if law enforcement agencies enjoy the support of the local communities,” Macasarte-Villanueva said.
 
PDEA agents and personnel of the Arakan municipal police uprooted and immediately burned the marijuana plants found in a secluded patch of land in Barangay Sumalili, where Tulosan also planted other farm crops.
 
Castro said the Cotabato provincial police office also helped carry out the operation that resulted in Tulosan's arrest and the seizure of his marijuana plants.
 
“Our agents took samples to be used as evidence in prosecuting him to the fullest extent of law,” Castro said.
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