News Release

President Duterte sees AFP defeating insurgency, terrorism under new leadership

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony at Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on February 4, 2021. SIMEON CELI/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has expressed confidence on Thursday, February 4, that under the new leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the government can successfully address multiple threats confronting the country.

“I am confident that under Lieutenant General Sobejana’s leadership, the AFP will achieve even more milestones in its campaign to address insurgency and terror, and put an end to all threats to our national security,” President Duterte said in his address during the change of command rites of the AFP in Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

“It is my hope that this new beginning will ensure a more fruitful collaboration as we strive to be a source of great moral strength for our people.”

The President also assured the members of the Armed forces of the government’s full support to improve their welfare, as well as to upgrade their capabilities aimed at ensuring national security.

As keepers of peace and order, he reminded the soldiers that they are instrumental in building a safe environment so that the people can be protected from lawlessness.

President Duterte also expressed high hopes for the future as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted people’s lives.

“Through our joint efforts in building the road to recovery during the pandemic, I am confident that we will move closer in achieving our shared aspirations for a better and stronger Philippines,” he said.

The Chief Executive congratulated Gen. Gilbert Gapay for his successful stint as the AFP’s chief of staff.

“During your tenure, you have commendably steered the men and women of the AFP towards our goal of eliminating insurgency and securing our sovereignty,” he told the outgoing AFP chief.

“When our nation faced a daunting public health crisis last year, you inspired our troops to risk their lives to contain the pandemic and provide other essential humanitarian assistance to our people.”

Gapay’s hard work and excellence have set a high standard not only for his comrades, but also for the institution’s future leadership, he noted.

Gapay, who was succeeded by Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986.

The new AFP chief of staff, on the other hand, is a graduate of PMA Class of 1987.

Sobejana, whose military career was mostly spent in Mindanao, is a recipient of the country’s highest military award, the Medal for Valor. PND

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