Incumbent Western Mindanao Command chief and Medal of Valor awardee, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, will take over the Philippine Army following the appointment of its head, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, as the next Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff effective August 3.
“Yes (he will be taking over the PA),” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday when asked for confirmation.
Sobejana, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1987, commanded the Joint Task Force Sulu, the Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division, and the Western Mindanao Command, to name a few.
He won his Medal of Valor in 1995 for continuing to fight an estimated 150 Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Isabela, Basilan with his platoon despite sustaining crippling wounds in the encounter.
Meanwhile, in a media interview, Sobejana said he was very happy to be selected to head the PA.
“Of course, I am very happy to be selected to lead the Philippine Army. I consider this as a new challenge and I am very thankful to our Almighty. God is so good and to God be the glory,” he said.
When asked for his plans as Army chief, Sobejana said he intends to build up the capability of the organization in terms of equipment and human resources.
“Of course, you have to come up with the doctrine, techniques, tactics, and procedures that will ensure (the) victory of our troops as they are deployed to the front line,” he said.