Ranking NPA leader killed in Bukidnon clash
MANILA, Philippines — The second top ranking New People’s Army (NPA) leader in Mindanao and former National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Pedro Codaste, also known as Gonyong, was killed in a clash with the police and the military in Bukidnon. The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), on Tuesday, announced Codaste’s death in a Jan. 21 skirmish in Barangay Kalabugao, Impasug-ong town. Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, chief of the Eastmincom, said that concerned citizens tipped off the presence of suspected NPA rebels in Barangay Kalabugao. When state security forces arrived in the area, a 30-minute firefight ensued with at least 15 communist rebels. Codaste’s body and that of another NPA fighter known as “Zandro” were recovered at the site along with an AK-47 rifle, a .45-caliber pistol, a land mine and subversive documents. Codaste was the secretary of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ North Central Mindanao regional committee and secretary of the NPA’s guerilla front 44 in Agusan del Sur.
—Jeannette I. Andrade
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