LAW enforcers seized 13.2 billion worth of illegal drugs from 1,794 raids on March 6 to 19 alone, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Sixty-one suspects surrendered, 2,471 were arrested and two got killed in those anti-drug operations, the agency said in a statement on Monday.

“Because of the quick response of the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, many of the youth and their families have been saved from the dangers of illegal drugs,” Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in the statement in Filipino.

“I urge our drug enforcement agencies to further intensify their operations and target big drug syndicates so we can protect and save our people and our country from the ill effects of illegal drugs.”

He said drug haul from the raids hit a record 1,775.2 kilos of crystal meth and 421.4 kilos of pot. “This is a huge victory in our campaign against illegal drugs as we seized tons of shabu and marijuana.”

The March 8 raid in Valenzuela yielded P1.08 billion worth of crystal meth confiscated from a Chinese national and a Filipino, he said. He added that 1,600 kilos of the drug worth P12 billion were seized from 10 suspects in a drug raid in Quezon province on March 16.

Philippine prosecutors have filed charges in court against law enforcers in four cases and plan to investigate 250 more of what could have been wrongful deaths in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told the United Nations Human Rights Council last month.

An inter-agency committee formed 15 teams last year that probed extralegal killings and human rights violations during these operations.

Meanwhile, the DILG on Monday promoted 25 officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to chief superintendent.

Mr. Año said 18 fire officers were mostly regional directors who rose through the ranks, and seven of those promoted were senior jail officers.

“The officers are a testament to the hard work of our personnel and the fruition of years of committed service they dedicated in the name of their sworn duty to the people,” he said. Chief superintendent is equivalent to the rank of General.

The BFP has 33,872 firefighters across the country and the BJMP has 18,600 jail personnel. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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