Honoring rites for AFP chief held in NegOr

DUMAGUETE CITY, May 17 (PIA) -- In recognition of his achievements in the military and as tribute for bringing pride and honor to Negros Oriental, the provincial government gave a plaque of commendation to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and his wife, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, presented the plaque of commendation to Sobejana in a ceremony held on May 14, 2021 at the Provincial Convention Center here. 

Sobejana was accompanied by his wife, Edna, in receiving the award.

Also present in the ceremony was his mother, Eustaquia Elola-Arado and some relatives. 

(L-R) Philippine Army 302nd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Leonardo Peña, Edna Iturriaga-Sobejana, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, and Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo pose for a photo during the ceremony held May 14, 2021 at the Provincial Convention Center, Dumaguete City. (ral/PIA7-NegOr)

Earlier that day, the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army held arrival honors for the commanding general at the Capitol Forecourt.

In compliance to the protocols prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) on mass gatherings in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), the program was reduced to the actual awarding, delivery of few speeches, and short photo opportunities.

In his speech, Degamo highlighted how the AFP chief is worthy of admiration.

“His story as a boy with humble beginnings from Zamboanguita who rose to become a professional soldier, a competent military leader is truly worthy of our highest recognition and commendation,” Degamo said.

“General Sobejana was a favored son of Negros Oriental, as tuck in his belt the many firsts in military service: the first and only NegOrense soldier who received the highest military honor - the medal of valor, the first Philippine Army commanding general from Negros Oriental, and the first chief of staff of the AFP coming from this province,” Degamo added.

The governor also noted that the young people in the province can get inspiration from the general in achieving excellence in their studies and in embodying dedication, commitment to their aspirations, patriotism, and respect for human rights.

Meanwhile, Sobejana thanked the Provincial Government and the people of Negros Oriental for the said commendation.

This is the second time the provincial government gave recognition to Sobejana.

In 2012, he was given the Most Outstanding NegOrense Award in the field of Public Service.

“Thank you for choosing me as a Negrense awardee — an award of recognition that I will never forget and in fact, it will further motivate me to do more for our country and our people,” Sobejana cited in his speech.

He also gave assurance that the public can continue to trust the AFP.

“You can count on the armed forces in Negros Oriental. I am very glad that the AFP is well represented with the able leadership of Col. Leonardo Peña and with the support of the battalion commanders,” Sobejana said. 

Peña is the commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of Philippine Army in Negros Oriental.

Sobejana also took the opportunity to re-echo the call for convergence among government agencies in addressing issues related to insurgency.

“I do believe that security is a shared responsibility. Your armed forces alone cannot put an end to the menace of insurgency and terrorism because, as you see it, there are a lot of factors or reasons why we have these security problem. One of those is the economic reason. Second is the injustice. Third, of course, is illiteracy. Fourth is oppression, and a lot of others. These things are not within the purview of the Armed forces,” he said.

“There’s really a need for us to converge our effort so that we can improve to the best,” he added.

Sobejana said he is personally monitoring the peace and order status in Negros Oriental and has instructed the Philippine Army here to converge their efforts and establish a seamless working relationship with the army’s counterparts in the civil government.

He emphasized that true peace and progress can be achieved if there is strong collaboration with all sectors of the society.

Meanwhile, the provincial government also awarded a plaque of commendation to Sobejana's mother in recognition of her efforts and contribution in raising a son that would bring pride to Negros Oriental. (ral/PIA7-NegOr)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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