The cat’s finally out of the bag.
President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted that Supt. Edilberto Leonardo, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 11 (Davao Region) based in Davao City, was the one who intervened in the case of Supt. Marvin Marcos, CIDG Region 8 Chief, from being relieved after being tagged as a drug protector of alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
In a speech in Cambodia, Duterte did not identify Leonardo by name but he revealed that it was Marcos’ “mistah” who called him to ask Police Chief Bato Dela Rosa not to implement the relief order against Marcos last Oct. The following month, Marcos and a CIDG team served a search warrant in the Leyte sub-provincial jail and killed Espinosa’s father Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, in what Marcos and his team claimed was a “shootout.” The National Bureau of Investigation probe showed that it was a “rubout.’
“Sabi, ‘Bakit si Duterte nidi-dipensahan ‘yan? Si Marcos ayaw tanggalin. Ano ba talaga sikreto niya?’ You know, Marcos, classmate niya. So—Sa PMA. Mistah niya eh. Pero I believe in his good faith. Pinalitan niya lahat ‘yung mga pulis ng umupo siya, that were tainted with drugs. But he never knew na pati pala ‘yung mistah niya, nilagay niya doon sa pwesto, may bukol rin,” said Duterte.
In a Senate hearing, Marcosrevealed that Leonardo was his classmate at the Philippine National Police Academy but Leonardo didn’t graduate on schedule with his in 1996 because he still had ‘pending’ items to complete.
“So ‘nong nalaman ko, sabi ko, totoo ‘yun. Ako ang nagsabi. Huwag mo ng tanggalin ‘yan. Tutal ikaw lang rin naglagay niyan. Hayaan natin. Tingnan ko kung hanggang saan ang na-contaminate niya. He was a regional CIDG. Kung ilan ang pulis na nakuha niya,” he said.
“And even if the mayor were already there, pero hindi pa ‘yun pumasok sa presohan. That was an order days ago. Sinabi ko lang hayaan mo na lang. At pinuntahan niya ako na, ‘Sir sorry talaga ‘yung… hindi ko akalain classmate ko pa naman ito, mistah ko. Nandiyan rin pala sa droga.’ ‘O sige hayaan mo’,” said Duterte.
Duterte stressed that the suspension of the relief of Marcos was in no way connected to the death of Mayor Espinosa.
Duterte said: “Kasi meron na ‘yang, may na-konek na ‘yan. Hanapin natin kung sino. Kay tanggalin mo ‘yan bigla diyan, iwan mo ‘yung na-contaminate na niya, infected. Eh wala rin mag-silbi. Then came that—But that incident there, ‘yung pinasok sa presohan tapos pinatay. Ibang… ibang—It does not relate to the, ‘yung gusto niyang tanggalin si Marcos kaagad. Sabi ko, ‘no’.”