“Manhunt operations are underway to arrest the suspect, and appropriate court charges await the weed cultivators.”

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There’s a little less green in the Philippines this week after the police destroyed thousands of mature cannabis plants worth more than P24 million (approximately C$601,727).

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PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar said in a statement that the Philippine National Police (PNP), along with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, oversaw the uprooting and destruction of an estimated 123,500 plants in Tinglayan town in the province of Kalinga during an operation that lasted three days.

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“The eradication drive was launched from July 19-21 in the mountainous area of five sites at Barangay Loccong, Tinglayan, and Kalinga,” Eleazar said. A barangay, also referred toto as a barrio, is a Filipino term for ward, district, or village.

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While the plants were captured and destroyed, their growers remain elusive.

“Manhunt operations are underway to arrest the suspect, and appropriate court charges await the weed cultivators,” Eleazar said.

If the suspect or suspects are apprehended, they could face serious repercussions.

Anyone found guilty of Cultivation or Culture of Plants Classified as Dangerous Drugs can incur a penalty of “life imprisonment to death,” plus a fine of P500,000 to P10,000,000 (approximately C$12,535 to C$250,713).

“We will not stop conducting this type of operation to stop the cultivation of Marijuana anywhere in the country,” Eleazar vowed.  “We will cleanse the community of this kind of illegal activity and especially of illegal drugs.”

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Since his election in 2016, the Philippines has come under harsh scrutiny on the international stage as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s War on Drugs.

Despite drawing the ire of groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and even the United Nations, the president, as reported by Global News, has encouraged the extrajudicial killings of anyone suspected of being involved in the illicit drug trade.

Furthermore, in his June 2016 inaugural speech as published by INQUIRER.net, he told the citizens, “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself.”

The next presidential election is scheduled for 2022.

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SOURCE: https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-news/police-destroy-more-than-half-a-million-dollars-worth-of-cannabis-plants