Secret marijuana plantation raided in Cotabato

POLICE and Army soldiers on Monday overrun a secret marijuana plantation in Arakan, Cotabato where they uprooted and destroyed hundreds of thousands worth of fully-grown cannabis, Police Regional Office 12 director, Brigadier General Alfred S. Corpus reported yesterday.

According to corpus, members of the Arakan Municipal Police Station and the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion also arrested a man found growing the prohibited crops in Purok 4 in Barangay Sumalili.

Prior to the marijuana eradication drive, Corpus said that Arakan police intelligence officers investigated a report from a concerned citizen regarding the presence of the site located about 35 kilometers away from their station.

Acting on the validated report, members of the Arakan police force led by Captain Gaspar Maguiwe, joined by soldiers from the Alpha Company of the 19th IB led by Corporal Ace Cinco went to the site which turned out to be around six kilometers away from the barangay proper.

Corpus said during the operation, troops caught by surprise 38-year -old farmer Julito Ocer alias ‘Longhair’ as he was watering the banned plants. The man was placed under arrest after being apprised of his constitutional rights.

Troops later uprooted and burned on site the prohibited crops planted on three hills in the area. Some samples were also turned over to the local Crime Laboratory for evidentiary purpose.

Corpus said Ocer will be facing charges for cultivation of marijuana under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.