President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed confidence that newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana would lead the military to new heights to address threats to the country’s peace and security.
In a speech at the Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Duterte welcomed Sobejana as AFP chief after thanking outgoing chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay for his successful tour of duty.
“I am confident that under Lt. Gen. Sobejana’s leadership, the AFP will achieve even more milestones in the campaign to address the insurgency and terror, and put an end to all these threats to our national security,” he said.
Duterte enjoined government troops, under Sobejana’s leadership, to continue being vigilant and pro-active in performing his duties.
“It is my hope that this new beginning will ensure a more fruitful collaboration as we strive to be a source of great moral strength to our people,” he added.
He also assured the government’s full support for the promotion of the military’s improved welfare as well as the upgrading of their capabilities in securing the safety of the people.
“As keepers of peace and order, you are instrumental in building a safe environment where our people can live without fear from lawless elements,” he said. “Through our joint effort in building the road to recovery during the pandemic, I am confident that we will move closer in achieving our shared aspirations for a better and stronger Philippines.”
Sobejana, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang Class” of 1987, was the commanding general of the Philippine Army since July last year.
He also commanded the Joint Task Force Sulu, the Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division, and the Western Mindanao Command.
Sobejana is also a recipient of the Medal of Valor, the country’s highest military award that is equivalent to the Congressional Medal of Honor of the United States.
He earned his Medal of Valor award in 1995 after leading the fight with an estimated 150 Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Isabela town in Basilan despite sustaining crippling wounds in the encounter. SOVEREIGNPH