Number 2 NPA Commander in Mindanao, Another Member killed in a Joint Operation in Bukidnon

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Combined forces of the 16th Infantry Battalion under the 4th Infantry Division’s operational control and PNP’s Special Action Force killed the CPP-NPA Terrorist’s number 2 Commander in Mindanao and another member during a 30-minute encounter that transpired at Barangay Kalabugao, Impasugong, Bukidnon in January 21.

Lt Col Neil Armstrong Batayola, Commanding Officer of 16IB under 402nd Infantry Brigade, said they responded to the complaint of concerned citizens regarding an armed group conducting atrocities in the area, which resulted to an exchange of fire against 15 CNTs and the recovery of two male dead bodies and capture two firearms composed of one AK47 Rifle and one Cal. 45 Pistol. The CNT fatalities were later identified as Pedro Codaste alias Gonyong/Serv, the NPA’s number 2 Commander in Mindanao being the Deputy Secretary of Komisyon Mindanao (KOMMID) and a certain alias Zandro, a CNT member.

BGen Oliver T Vesliño, Acting Commander of 4ID, lauded the joint forces for the successful operation which considerably be of great loss to the NPA as he was considered to succeed the top leadership in Mindanao.

“Codaste was considered as the acting KOMMID Chairman after the death of Cabanatan alias Kuba, Madlos alias Ka Oris and Villanueva alias Ka Bok. He is a member of CPP’s Central Committee and Consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF). A former Secretary of Guerilla Front 4A (GF4A) in Agusan del Sur during the early ’90s then later became Secretary of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee in 2009. He was elected to the Central Committee during the CPP 2nd Congress in 2016,” BGen Vesliño said.

Facing multiple cases with warrants of arrest, Codaste is one of the most wanted fugitives for the crime of murder, double frustrated murder and attempted murder.

“We have once again delivered justice for our people. While we extend our sympathies to the families and friends of those killed, Codaste’s death is a tangible reminder that injustices that brought sufferings and numerous deaths will forever haunt us. A clearer manifestation of the people in rejecting the CPP-NPA-NDF. Remaining leaders and members still have the chance to avoid the same fate by availing the E-CLIP of the government and peacefully return to their families,” BGen Vesliño added.

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