STEPPED-UP war on drugs by the Cordillera Police Regional Office in 2021 resulted in the arrest of 541 wanted drug traffickers and the seizure of nearly P1.6 billion worth of marijuana leaves and shabu, regional police director Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee told the Journal Group yesterday.
“The arrests and drug confiscation were made in line with our intensified crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the entire region. Expect more successful anti-drug raids and arrests this year as we implement the order of Philippine National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos to go all-out against drugs,” said Brig. Gen. Lee.
The official said that on record, they confiscated a total of ₱1,578 billion worth of prohibited drugs, majority of them fully-grown marijuana plants, seedlings and leaves, which were all burned on site.
He said that records from the Cordillera Regional Operations Management Division showed that from January 1 to last December 31, 2021, the regional police force conducted 621 anti-illegal drug operations, including buy-bust operations, anti-narcotics raids, marijuana eradication, implementation of search warrants, service of warrants of arrest and checkpoints and interdiction operations.
Those operations resulted in the arrest of 541 drug personalities, including 242 in Baguio City, 126 in Benguet, 85 in Kalinga, 42 in Mountain Province, 39 in Abra, five in Ifugao and two in Apayao province.
Lee said that the past year saw the conduct of marijuana eradication operations, which led to the uprooting and destruction of more than five million pieces of fully-grown marijuana plants and nearly 4.6 tons of dried cannabis plants.
The prohibited crops were burned on site after samples were taken for evidentiary purpose.
Lee supervised the conduct of the Cordillera police force’s “Oplan: Herodotus,” which referred to the conduct of simultaneous marijuana eradication operations in Benguet, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.
Those operations resulted in the destruction of 72 marijuana plantation sites.
A number of identified maintainers of the raided cannabis plantations have been charged in court for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“Ang utos ko, maliliit pa lang ang mga marijuana eh sirain na para hindi na lalaki pa at mawala na rin ang pagkakataon na maibenta pa sa baba,” Lee said.