Authorities seized P8-million worth of marijuana plants in Maimbung, Sulu, an area known to be infested with Abu Sayyaf members, a Navy official said Saturday.

Marines and members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency raided the half-hectare plantation in Brgy. Gulangan around 5 p.m. Friday, Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said.

The raid was carried out after authorities received intelligence reports that marijuana is being grown in the area, he said.

The seized marijuana plants are fully-grown and “ready for harvesting,” Tonsay said.

The hinterlands of Maimbung, like several other areas in Sulu, are known hideouts of Abu Sayyaf members, according to Tonsay.

“We do not rule out the possibility that they (Abu Sayyaf) are involved (in marijuana cultivation),” he said.

The operatives, however, found no person at the plantation and have yet to identify the owner.

Brigadier Gen. Remigio Valdez, commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade, said his troops are now helping the PDEA in identifying the plantation’s owner.

“The Marines in Sulu will continue its fight not only against terrorism in the area but any forms of lawlessness,” he said. (John Roson)

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