May 24, 2024

Around 23 marijuana plantation sites in Kibungan, Benguet were destroyed in two separate operations on Oct. 24 and 25.
Personnel of the First Benguet Provincial Mobile Force Company and the Special Action Force were conducting a joint combat patrol in Sitio Batangan, Tacadang when they stumbled upon nine planting sites on Oct. 24.
They uprooted 10,020 pieces of full-grown marijuana plants with a street market value of P2 million and 1,500 pieces marijuana seedlings valued at P60,000.
The next day, Benguet Police Provincial Office along with the Kibungan Municipal Police Station and the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit also discovered 14 marijuana planting sites in sitios Batangan, Napitak, and Mocgao, all in Tacadang.
The uprooted illegal plants were valued at P2,093,000 while another 360 pieces of seedlings worth P14,400 and three kilograms dried marijuana leaves worth P360,000 were found in the same areas.
No cultivator was arrested. 
Earlier, the police called for vigilance against drug couriers posing as tourists to smuggle marijuana from Tinglayan, Kalinga, as reports on the arrests of marijuana couriers have risen in recent years. 
The Police Regional Office-Cordillera said it is constantly monitoring the various entry and exit points of tourists visiting Tinglayan, especially Barangay Buscalan, where traditional tattooing continues to attract domestic and foreign tourists. 
The traditional tattooing in Buscalan has since become a cover for marijuana cultivators and smugglers to continue their trade, according to the police.
The towns of Kibungan and Tinglayan are among the primary sources of marijuana in the country based on the frequency of anti-illegal drugs operations through the years. – Ofelia C. Empian