BY CRIS DIAZ
CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Mindanao’s number two commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed in Bukidnon firefight, the military announced Tuesday.
Maj. Francisco Garello, Jr., head of the army’s Public Affairs Office here identified the commander as Pedro Codaste, a.k.a “Gonyong” and a certain Zandro during a 30-minute firefight in the hinterlands if Kalabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
Garello said that Codaste, 70, was the number two NPA commander in Mindanao being the Deputy Secretary of Komisyon Mindanao (KOMMID).
BGen Oliver T Vesliño, Acting Commander of 4ID, said Codaste was the acting KOMMID Chairman after the death of Cabanatan alias Kuba, Madlos alias Ka Oris and Villanueva alias Ka Bok.
He said that Codaste was 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 Vesliño said that Codaste was elected to the Central Committee during the CPP 2nd Congress in 2016.
According to Vesliño, Codaste was groomed to succeed the top leadership of the CPP-NPA-NDF Mindanao .
He said that Codaste was leading a 15-man armed rebels when the combined elements of the army’s 16IB and the police speacial action force engaged them Friday. -0-