MANILA It would be very logical to appoint incumbent 6th Infantry Division chief, Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, as Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) head, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato said Monday.
Aside from being one of the senior and experienced division commanders in the Philippine Army, Sobejana is very familiar with the areas or provinces under the Western Mindanao Command which include Basilan, Sulu, and Cotabato.
"He is well familiar with the Western Mindanao Command and he earned his Medal of Valor (the AFP's highest combat decoration) while serving there," Detoyato said in Filipino.
Sobejana, a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1987, was given the Medal of Valor for his actions in January 13, 1995 where he and his platoon engaged an estimated 150 Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Isabela, Basilan.
In the four-hour firefight, Sobejana was wounded multiple times but despite this he carried on with the fight until he and his men were reinforced by other military units.
In the clash, around 30 of the terrorists were killed while an undetermined number were reported wounded.
Aside from this, Sobejana is also respected by the local populace and Muslim leaders, the AFP public affairs office chief said.
Detoyato declined to give specifics on when the successor to outgoing Western Mindanao Command chief, Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, a member of PMA Class of 1985, who is scheduled to retire this coming June 28, will be officially appointed to the post.
Dela Vega, also a former commander of the 6th Infantry Division, opted to retire early as he has less than a year left before reaching the mandatory retirement of 56 by March 28, 2020. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency