ZAMBOANGA CITY (MDN Mindanao News digital,June 29) – The new commander of the most critical command base of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Mindanao has formally assumed office Friday, (June 28,2019) during a change of command held in Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City.
Installed as the new chief of Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) was Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana. He replaced outgoing commander Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, who reportedly opted for early retirement for still unknown reasons.
The formal turn over ceremony of the change of command in Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) was presided by no other than the AFP chief of staff, General Benjamin Madrigal.
The new Wesmincom chief was the Commander of the 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army prior to his new appointment to lead Wesmincom, one of the critical bases in Western Mindanao due to the active presence of terrorist and private armed groups.
The AFP considered General Sobejana as one of the living heroes of the army. He was a highly decorated soldier of the country known for his heroic combat exploits.
Sobejana was recipient of the country's highest military award, the medal of valor, an award equally the same with that of the United States Congressional Medal of Honor.
Member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1987, Major General Sobejana is happily married to the former Miss Edna Iturriaga. Their union is blessed with three lovely daughters and two sons.
In his statement, Major General Sobejana expressed his happiness to the AFP, most especially his predecessor, Lt Gen Arnel Dela Vega, for entrusting to him the new leadership of Wesmincom, also considered as priority fronts of the premier military command in the country.
He said that “while security is our primary duty, we also need help from the local chief executives and other stakeholders. I define peace as people empowerment in addressing security challenges in our area of operations.”
Meanwhile, outgoing commander, Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega also extended his gratitude to everyone who became part of his meaningful command at Wesmincom. He thanked his subordinates, mistahs, friends and associates, who in one way or another supported him during his stay at Wesmincom – most especially his family for their untiring support in his successful journey as a highly decorated official of the military.
“I enjoin every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman of this Command to continuously endeavour to adhere to the interplay of security, development, and good governance as the main component of our strategic framework in addressing the different threats and threat groups confronting the region,” Dela Vega concluded.