The Philippine Army (PA) welcomed Lt. Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr. as he formally assumes as the 63rd Commanding General here today, February 16, 2021.
In a Change of Command Ceremony presided by Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana, outgoing Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana turned over the leadership to the former Eastern Mindanao Commander.
Lt. Gen. Faustino, a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Maringal” Class of 1988, held various key command roles throughout his 36 years in service including his stint as the commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command; Chief of Staff, PA; Commandant of Cadets and Head Tactics Group, PMA; Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training, PA; and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, 10th Infantry “Agila” Division. Among the units he commanded also includes the 7th Scout Ranger Company, 35th Infantry Battalion and the 501st Infantry Brigade. His efforts as he commanded the 10ID led to the dismantling of six Pulang Bagani Commands and four Guerilla Fronts of the NPA in one year of Military Campaign implementation.
In his assumption speech, Lt. Gen. Faustino put emphasis on the Army’s role as the major force provider in the country’s fight against insurgency as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. He also expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to lead the Army towards its vision of becoming a world-class Army. “My utmost gratitude to our Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for his trust and confidence in my ability to lead the 100,000 strong Philippine Army.”
During the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Sobejana was awarded the Distinguished Service Star Award for his meritorious service rendered to the country and the Filipino people as he sustained the command’s operational excellence as displayed in the past year’s successful combat operations, strong multilateral relations, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response efforts. The Medal for Valor Awardee, during his stint, emphasized the importance of the Army personnel’s welfare especially amidst the worldwide health crisis. On February 4, Lt. Gen. Sobejana took on a new responsibility as the 55th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have been at the helm of the 123 year-old institution whose ranks are made of genuine heroes; ordinary Filipinos imbued with extraordinary passion and selfless motivation,” said Lt. Gen. Sobejana as he relinquished the leadership to Lt. Gen. Faustino. “Commanders come and go, but the Philippine Army’s core purpose stays the same, that is to serve the people and secure the land.”
Lt. Gen. Faustino remarked his intention to sustain the command’s high productivity and engagement to the people. “Let us stand tall in this dark hour. Empathy and genuine concern shall be the hallmarks that accompany every soldiers’ discharge of duty. The Philippine Army’s credibility hinges on transparency and accountability, which instill confidence in the organization’s support of the administration’s actions to get us through these challenges.” PHILIPPINE ARMY