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CPP-NPA ‘death bed‘ in Central Luzon readied

Mario J. Mallari

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Changing of the guards Col. Andrew Costelo (left) receives the 703rd Infantry “Agila” Brigade flag from Maj. Gen. Lenard Agustin, commander of the 7th Infantry Division.

BONGABON, Nueva Ecija — The newly-installed military commander in Central Luzon has vowed to deliver the “death bed” to the dwindling Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in the region.

Col. Andrew Costelo, commander of the Army’s 703rd Brigade, said that while the military would welcome communist rebels wanting to return to the folds of the law, those who continue to fight will be facing the full might of the law.

“We will tirelessly offer and extend the hand of peace, but we will also be fearless and relentless in running after those who will choose to stick to terror in furthering their beliefs,” said Costelo, upon assuming the leadership of the Army’s “Agila” Brigade based in Bongabon.

“This communist madness propagated by Jose Ma. Sison and his local group of old, tired and weary communist apparatchik must be stopped. As this ideology gasps for breath, it’s time to send this demagoguery to its death bed,” Costelo added.

As commander of the 703rd Brigade, Costelo has jurisdiction over the entire Region 3.

Costelo succeeded Brig. Gen. Rowen Tolentino.

In assuming the reign of the 703rd Brigade, Costelo said he will carry out the military’s holistic approach in ending the communist-inspired insurgency at the intersection of left-hand and right-hand approaches, but with more lethal effect.

“We will seek peace and we will encourage rebels to join us in this undertaking, but for those who wanted to sow terror, we will be unrelenting in our campaign against them,” he said.

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