MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) performed well, including in response efforts against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) under the leadership of then acting chief, Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday.
“Under the leadership of Gen. Faustino, the PA excellently performed its core functions as a force provider assisting the Unified Commands in creating a conducive environment for lasting peace and sustainable development,” Lorenzana said during the change-of-command ceremony held at the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
He added that aside from Its traditional security roles, the PA’s role as among front-liners in the ongoing government response against the Covid-19 pandemic greatly contributed to its high public trust ratings.
“It is no surprise therefore that the PA continues to enjoy high public trust rating under his (Faustino’s) leadership,” Lorenzana said.
Faustino was appointed to the Army’s top post last February 16 before being replaced by Centino.
“To Gen. Faustino and his family on behalf of the One Defense Team, I thank and congratulate you for your sterling leadership of the PA, I wish you continued success as you mark on your next journey in your distinguished military career. I also thank Mrs. Faustino and the entire Faustino family for their understanding love and support that enabled Gen. Faustino to serve our nation well,” Lorenzana added.
Faustino was replaced by Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, his mistah (batchmate) in the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1988.
Faustino, who is set retire in November, will be designated as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff on Peace and Development, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana earlier said.
Faustino’s relief was done in accordance with the Republic Act 8186, Section 4 wherein the Commanding General of the Philippine Army should have at least one year remaining in the service on the day of his assumption.
Under Republic Act 8186, officers holding key positions (AFP chief of staff, AFP vice chief of staff, AFP deputy chief of staff, and major service commanders) are limited to a maximum tenure of three years unless relieved by a competent authority or compulsorily retired.
Faustino will closely supervise the programs, activities, and projects of the AFP Peace and Development Office, especially on matters pertaining to the Normalization Process of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), particularly in ensuring that the decommissioning of firearms of the former Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants remains on schedule.
Sobejana said Faustino’s proven capacity to lead peace and development programs in communist terrorist group-affected areas will also be instrumental in his new position. (PNA)