Palace says Cirilito Sobejana is next AFP chief
File photo shows Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
pna.gov.ph/Philippine Army photo

Palace says Cirilito Sobejana is next AFP chief

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - January 27, 2021 - 5:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — A Mindanao veteran and medal of valor awardee will be the next chief of the 140,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte has named Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana as the next military chief, presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced Wednesday.

Sobejana will succeed Gen. Gilbert Gapay, who will retire from the service next week. He will be the ninth military chief under Duterte. 

"We are confident that General Sobejana will continue to modernize our military and undertake reform initiatives to make the armed forces truly professional in its mandate as the protector of the people and the State," Roque said in a statement.

"We wish General Sobejana all the best in his new tour of duty as we pray for his success," he added.

A graduate of Philippine Military Academy class ’87, Sobejana was awarded the medal of valor - the highest military honor -  in 1995 for displaying courage in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Basilan. During the firefight, Sobejana suffered bullet wounds that almost severed his right arm.

Sobejana was also commander of the 1st Scout Ranger Company, 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, 601st Infantry Brigade, 6th Infantry Division and the Western Mindanao Command. The incoming AFP chief is also a former commandant of the Scout Ranger Training School and commander of the Army's civil-military operations group and the Joint Task Force Sulu.

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