Cebu News

P4 million worth of marijuana uprooted, farmer arrested

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Combined efforts of concerned residents led to the uprooting of more than P4 million worth of marijuana and the arrest of the cultivator in Purok 1, Barangay Kaluangan, Asturias, Cebu.

At around 7:30 Monday morning, operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) along with Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) Police Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU), Asturias Municipal Police Station, and Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU-7) conducted operation in the area.

According to PDEA-7 spokesperson Leia Albiar, they were already developing the operation earlier this year since they have been getting many reports from concerned citizens regarding a marijuana plantation in the area.

The operatives arrested Edwin S. Camaongay, 47, farmer, and a resident of Barangay Langosig, Danao City.

Albiar said that they previously conducted an operation in February, in which the subject happened to be Camoangay's nephew. However, they were not able to arrest the person.

In April, they also conducted the same operation, with Camoangay's son as the target but were also not able to capture the subject and no marijuana plantation was also found in the area.

"So mura sya og nahulog nga family trade na nila. From the papa, to the anak, to the pag-umangkon, kay involved aning marijuana cultivation," Albiar said.

This time, when an informant reported that there is a new plantation in the area, they were finally able to uproot 10,150 fully grown marijuana plants with an estimated value of P4,060,000 in a plantation with an estimated land area of 1,000 square meter.

Albiar credited the success of the operation to barangay residents, who reported the plantation to them.

"Sa una ang tawo murag mahadlok mo-report sa atoa kay basin mo-retaliate ang mga drug personalities. Pero karon, nakita nato nga ang drug personalities na ang hadlok sa community kay kahibaw sila nga empowered na ang mga tao. Unya kahibaw sila na effective gyud atong campaign against illegal drugs," Albiar said.

Other marijuana plantations in mountainous areas of Cebu such as Balamban, Toledo City and Talisay City are being monitored by PDEA-7.

Albiar said most of the arrested cultivators, like Camoangay, are farmers and some would say that they got involved in such illegal activity because of poverty.

A case for violating Section 16, Article II of Republic Act 9165 will be filed against Camoangay who is now detained at the PDEA-7 office in Lahug, Cebu City. -- Brigida Ramos Gerzon, CNU Intern, GMR (FREEMAN)

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