The new Commander of the Western Mindanao Command formally assumed office in a change of command ceremony presided by AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal held in Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City today.
Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana replaced Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, who opted to have his early retirement.
Prior to his designation, Major General Sobejana was the Commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.
Considered as one of the country’s living heroes, Sobejana is known for his heroic combat exploits. He is a recipient of the country’s highest military award, the medal for valor, an award equivalent to the Congressional Medal of Honor in the United States of America.
Major General Sobejana is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1987. He is happily married to the former Ms. Edna Iturriaga and blessed with a three daughters and two sons.
The ceremony was graced by the family and friends of Lieutenant General Dela Vega and Major General Sobejana.
In his message, Major General Sobejana expressed his elation and gratitude to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and his predecessor, Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, for giving him the opportunity to lead one of the priority fronts of the AFP.
“While security is our primary duty, we also need help from the local chief executives and other stakeholders,” MGen Sobejana said.
“I define peace as people empowerment in addressing security challenges in our area of operations,” he added.
In his valedictory address, Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega extended his warmest gratitude to all his subordinates, his mentors and mistahs, childhood friends and classmates, and most especially to his family for their unwavering support to his successful journey in 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,” Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega said.
Meanwhile, General Benjamin Madrigal, the presiding officer, lauded LtGen Dela Vega for the numerous accomplishments of the Command during his incumbency.