Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte names new armed forces chief of staff

Philippines' Duterte NYK Daily
Philippines' Duterte_ NYK Daily

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte named Army chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday.

Roque expressed confidence that Sobejana “will continue to modernize our military and undertake reform initiatives to make the AFP truly professional in its mandate as the protector of the people and the state.”

Sobejana was awarded the Medal of Valour, the highest military award, for leading troops in a deadly clash with around 150 Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the southern Philippine Basilan province in 1995, Xinhua reported.

Sobejana is the eighth military chief under Duterte. He will replace General Gilbert Gapay, who will retire on February 4 after serving for six months.

Sobejana, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1987, will lead the AFP until he retires on July 31, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.

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