EDITORIAL - Eradicating marijuana plantations

The Philippine Star

The Philippine National Police has an appeal to local government units: help eradicate marijuana plantations. The PNP issued the appeal following several raids in recent weeks by its Drug Enforcement Group, during which large tracts of land planted to marijuana were found and uprooted in several parts of the country.

Between Sept. 12 and Sept. 18 alone, the police DEG uprooted approximately 720,000 marijuana plants valued at P143 million in Kalinga and Lanao del Sur. No cultivator, however, was arrested. The PNP is hoping that provincial governors and mayors will at least prevent the raided plantations from being used again for cultivating marijuana.

With the larger share of local government units in national revenues beginning this year, LGU officials can heed the PNP’s appeal to take a more proactive role in fighting the illegal drug menace. LGUs in fact must take a more proactive role in fighting criminality and maintaining peace and order in general. In certain provinces, local executives have been linked themselves to illegal activities, including ransom kidnapping, jueteng, smuggling and drug trafficking.

LGUs should play a critical role even in reducing the threat posed by insurgents and extremist groups. In conflict zones, the role of LGUs is crucial in depriving armed threat groups of public support and supply lines. Apart from tightening security measures to keep the public safe, the efficient delivery of basic services and overall good governance reduce the appeal of extremism and armed insurgency.

Areas where marijuana is grown in this country are well known. The PNP lamented that cultivation of marijuana in remote areas of the Cordilleras, for example, has become “chronic.” In the past week alone, the PNP estimates that up to P143 million worth of marijuana plants have been uprooted by its agents. The PNP is hoping that LGUs can help eradicate the plantations for good by spraying chemicals that will prevent seedlings from growing again following police raids.

Marijuana cultivation and trafficking are among the major sources of funds for rebel groups and bandits. Local government executives work closely with barangay officials, who are supposed to be familiar with the people at the grassroots. Unless the barangay personnel are sleeping on the job or are themselves in cahoots with marijuana cultivators, it shouldn’t prove too hard to prevent the illegal activity, and help the PNP in carrying out its mission.



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with