BAGUIO CITY — Marijuana topped the list of illegal drugs seized in the Cordillera region during the first three months of the year.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Cordillera reported on Monday that a total of PHP144,974,864 worth of illegal drugs in different forms were seized.
Marijuana plants seized and destroyed amount to PHP127.03 million. This is followed by died marijuana leaves worth PHP10.87 million; fruiting tops PHP2.96 million; marijuana stalks PHP2.77 million; shabu PHP1.31 million; and hashish PHP599.
“This is part of the continuing supply reduction effort of the government,” said Edgar Apalla, PDEA-Cordillera regional director.
Apalla said there are no drug syndicates or drug laboratories operating in the Cordillera, however, the marijuana cultivation problem persists.
“The Cordillera’s drug situation is improving but we also need special attention to get rid of the marijuana cultivation in some barangays of Tinglayan in Kalinga and Kibungan in Benguet,” Apalla said.
During the last quarter joint meeting of the Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council last year, Apalla mentioned the resurgence of marijuana cultivation in barangays that used to be identified as plantation sites.
In the first quarter of the year, several eradication operations showed positive results that yielded to the destruction of marijuana plants in Kibungan and Tinglayan.
Apalla added that intelligence and negation operations are also unrelenting to arrest violators of the anti-illegal drug law.
Based on records furnished to the Philippine News Agency, government operatives composed of the PDEA, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army and other law enforcement units have implemented 228 intelligence operations which led to the arrest of 58 persons, aside from 29 high-value targets (HVT).
Apalla said HVT refers to those who belong to the target list of the agency and those who were found in possession of big quantities of illegal drugs.
Apalla said government law enforcement agencies continue to conduct advocacy activities to educate the public about the ill-effects of illegal drugs./Liza Agoot/PNA