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Army official vows to complete mission vs. Reds before 'deadline'

By Marilyn Galang / Philippine News Agency

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – A top-ranking military official has vowed an intensified drive against insurgency along with his counterparts in the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Region 3 (Central Luzon) to finish its mission and objectives "within the time frame".

Maj. Gen. Andrew D. Costelo, commander of the Philippine Army's 7th Infantry Division (7ID), cited the need to intensify efforts in the conduct of collaborative activities with national government agencies and engaging more with the communities to defeat local communist armed conflict.

“We are already in the stage of this campaign that we have to be more aggressive in our efforts because six months from now, President Rodrigo Duterte will step down from presidency and also signals the end of our timeline to defeat and eradicate the local communist armed conflict in our area of responsibility,” he said in a social media post on Friday.

Costelo, who chairs the Technical Working Group of the RTF-ELCAC 3, also asked his counterparts from the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) to strengthen their cooperation and collaboration to secure the conduct of an orderly and honest election on May 9.

“We have deployed our troops in support of the PNP (Philippine National Police) and Commission on Elections in their respective areas of operations for the conduct of checkpoints and implementation of the gun ban," he said.

Costelo likewise emphasized that the full cooperation of the community is vital for the successful conduct of the local and national elections. (PNA)



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