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The ground commander: Ex-Davao CIDG chief Edilberto Leonardo controls funds from Duterte in drug war- report

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A former assistant regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) based in Davao City controls the multimillion-peso fund reportedly set aside by the Office of the President to reward cops who kill drug suspects, according to a report written by a retired intelligence officer on extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the Philippines.

Police Superintendent Edilberto Leonardo, a graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy Class of 1996, has allegedly been “performing covert acts for the funding of the EJK operations” on Duterte’s orders.

The 24-page report, parts of which have been cited by Reuters in its own article on EJKs, said Leonardo “can personally and directly secure the EJK funds which is handled by PRRD.”

The funds allegedly come from the President’s discretionary Social Fund, businessmen’s donations, jueteng, the PNP and Department of Interior and Local Government’s budget, as well as from the agencies controlled by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr.

According to the report, Leonardo had been tasked as early as March 2016 to lay down the groundwork for the drug war.

From heading the CIDU, Leonardo was transferred to the National Capital Region Police Office and was subsequently assigned with the Manila Police District as station chief of Police Station 2.

The report claimed the police official has “direct orders” from Duterte and his son, Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, to coordinate with his classmates and schoolmates from the PNPA regarding the war on drugs.

Even before the drug war went on full swing when Duterte assumed office, Leonardo supposedly had put in place a reward system for cops in Metro Manila who will kill drug suspects.

The grant of cash rewards ranging from P10,000 to as much as P5 million to policemen who neutralize those who are on the drug watch list eventually spread out to Central Luzon and Southern Luzon.