(File photo)

MANILA – Some PHP10 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized across the country during the first six months of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in office, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported on Thursday.

In a statement, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the Philippine National Police (PNP) also arrested more than 30,000 drug suspects in 24,000 illegal drug operations, which include police officers and members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

He said they also recorded minimal deaths from police anti-drug operations during the six-month period.

Abalos cited the impressive efforts of the PNP as he witnessed the gallantry of men on the ground in fighting the drug menace since the start of the Marcos administration.

Alam ninyo kung ano po ang nagawa ng Philippine National Police noong nakaraang buwan. Ang ating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at kanyang administrasyon ay umupo noong July 1. [Batay sa] records ng PNP, higit-kumulang nasa 10 bilyong piso ang nakumpiskang droga (You know what the Philippine National Police has done last month. Our President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his administration took office on July 1. [Based on] PNP records, approximately PHP10 billion worth of illegal drugs were confiscated),” Abalos said.

Amid reports of the continued existence of "ninja cops," Abalos made the bold move of asking for courtesy resignations of colonels and generals in the police force as part of the government’s efforts to cleanse its ranks and rebuild its reputation.

The term ‘ninja cops’ refers to police officers involved in the illegal drug trade, usually by supposedly "recycling" confiscated drugs by selling them back on the street.

In requesting their courtesy resignations, Abalos explained that the ranks concerned are the most sensitive and critical positions in the PNP, hence the need for a swift solution to the problem.

This is not the first time that such measure was used to clean up the country's police force.

Abalos said former president Fidel Ramos asked police officials to submit courtesy resignations in 1992 over a police uniform issue.

Ramos then asked all officers over 56 years old or those with more than 30 years in service to resign, which resulted in the resignation of the chief of the national police and nine other senior officers.

The former president created a screening committee to evaluate and process all voluntary applications for the retirement of senior PNP officers pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 93 dated Feb. 23, 1993.

Abalos clarified that the courtesy resignation is effective only upon acceptance by the appointing authority.

Kung wala kang ginagawang masama (If you are upright), there’s nothing to worry about. Tuloy lang ang trabaho (Just continue with your job). We just want to start fresh with a clean slate,” Abalos pointed out. (PNA)