CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Cirilito Sobejana was officially donned his four-star rank insignia on Wednesday, making him the highest-ranking military officer.

“While these stars firmly resting on my shoulders are a testament to my personal achievements, it is still a strong reminder to everyone that should never be conscious of their positions but should remain humble and thankful, and to always exercise due prudence and diligence in the discharge of their respective duties and responsibilities,” General Sobejana said.

The donning of rank ceremony was presided by the Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cesar Yano at the DND Building in Camp Aguinaldo on behalf of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

A traditional military honor was subsequently accorded to the Chief of Staff at the GHQ canopy area. This was attended by his family and the chiefs of the Joint, Personal, and Special Staff of the AFP.

Minimum health protocols were strictly observed during the activities in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the promotion of General Sobejana effective April 8, 2021 following the approval of the Commission on Appointments on March 24, 2021.

“In the spirit of nation-building, we in the AFP, as the protectors of the dreams and aspirations of our fellow Filipinos, shall rise above ourselves so that the success that we may achieve today will not only benefit our organization, but moreso, the whole Filipino nation,” the AFP Chief of Staff said.

Meanwhile, three senior military officers also received their next higher rank in a ceremony held at Silid Lapu-Lapu in GHQ Building, afternoon of the same day.

Colonel Joel Alejandro Nacnac, Chief of the AFP Human Rights Office; Colonel Edgardo Palma, Chief of the Office of the Special Studies and Strategy Management; and Colonel Erick Escarcha, Chief of AFP Command Center donned their first stars as Brigadier Generals.

General Sobejana congratulated the newly-promoted generals and reminded them of their responsibility and commitment to the country and its people.

“Your new ranks shall reflect the extent of your dedication to serve our nation and our people. Let us guarantee that the donning of these ranks has its noble purpose – of contributing to the mission accomplishment of the AFP and in making our country more peaceful and progressive,” General Sobejana said./// (Photo by SN1 Donald Viluan PN/PAOAFP)