Medal of Valor awardee to lead Western Mindanao Command
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 6 th Infantry Division, will be the next chief of the Western Mindanao Command, a military spokesman said Monday.
Col. Noel Detoyato, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs chief said Sobejana is the "most qualified" for the position.
"He commands a very portion of Mindanao, the area of Western Mindanao Command, so he is the most qualified and the most senior division commander," Detoyato said
"He knows the area very well. The area of Basilan, Jolo, Cotabato the whole of Western Mindanao Command because it is where he served as a brigade commander. It is also where he earned his Medal of Valor in the area of Western Mindanao Command," he noted.
"He also knows how to talk to Muslim leaders so he is very qualified for the position," he added.
Sobejana won the Medal of Valor in 1995 in a battle against the Abu Sayyaf in Isabela, Basilan
Sobejana said he will be replaced by Brig. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Commander of Army's 601st Infantry Brigade.
He said the turn over and retirement ceremony of Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega will be held on June 28 two days before he reach his retirement age of 56 on June 30.
"The retirement of Gen. Dela Vega is on 30, the turned over is two days earlier, so before my relinquishment in 6th Infantry Division maybe the rank will be given to me because the turnover in 6th ID is on July 1," Sobejana said.
Sobejana said with the cooperation of the public, including the local government the military can attain its objective to finally end the terrorist threats in Western Mindanao.
"Well that is our objective, because it is the president who give his guidance for us to end the Abu Sayyaf before the end of the year. That's why we deploy all forces in Sulu for that purpose without creating any vaccum in any areas within the Western Mindanao Command," he said.
"(That is) feasible especially now that we see the amount of cooperation of the local government units, civilian authorities and even the community as a whole. They are already tired of the menace, this terrorism that is why they are very supportive to us," he said. Robina Asido/DMS