A MAJOR marijuana eradication drive conducted by the Cordillera Police Regional Office under its Oplan: Herodotus had resulted in the destruction of nearly P500 million worth of fully-grown cannabis plants and seedlings as of Tuesday, Cordillera police director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee said.
In a report to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the official said the operations were conducted in the mountain ranges of Benguet, Kalinga and Mountain Province by his men with the support of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) and the Armed Forces.
The weeklong conduct of so-called ‘One-Time, Big-Time’ operations against identified marijuana plantation sites in the region was codenamed Oplan: Herodotus after the famous Greek historian Herodotus, also known as the Father of History whose writings represents the earliest evidence of marijuana as a mind-altering substance.
“We are going after all identified marijuana sites in Cordillera region in order to reduce the supply of the prohibited crops being trafficked from the region to Metro Manila and other nearby areas,” said Lee.
The official said they are also aiming to identify, arrest and file appropriate charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against any person who will be identified as behind the cultivation and distribution of the cannabis.
“Thru our BARANGAYanihan program, we are likewise getting support from residents of communities affected by marijuana cultivation in their areas as they are the ones giving us information on the location of the banned crops,” Brig. Gen. Lee told the Journal Group.
Targeted by the operations were secret marijuana sites in Barangays Tacadang and Badeo in Kibungan and in Bgy. Kayapa in Bakun, Benguet; Bgy. Loccong and Mount Chumanchil in Tinglayan, Kalinga; and Bgy. Saclit in Sadanga, Mountain Province.
Lee said their operations started last Thursday, September 23 and will end on Wednesday. It is being mounted by members of the Benguet, Kalinga and Mountain Province Police Provincial Offices, the Cordillera Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Regional Drug Enforcement Unit and Regional Special Operations Group, the PNP-DEG, under Brig. Gen. Remus B. Medina, the PNP Special Action Force under Major Gen. Felipe R. Natividad , the Army and the PDEA Cordillera office under Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva.
As of press time, the Cordillera police director said more than P420 million worth of fully-grown marijuana plants and seedlings, dried leave, stalks and fruiting tops have been seized and burned by his men.
They include an estimated P240 million worth of cannabis destroyed in Mount Chumanchil.