Faustino formally takes over as OIC of DND

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2022 03:08 PM

Jose Faustino, Jr. Photo from Armed Forces of the Philippines Facebook Page/file
Jose Faustino, Jr. Photo from Armed Forces of the Philippines Facebook Page/file

MANILA — Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Jose Faustino Jr. formally took over the helm of the Department of National Defense (DND) on Monday.

Because he was reinfected with COVID-19, he virtually attended his first flag-raising ceremony, which was held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, as DND officer-in-charge.

Faustino, who is fully vaccinated and had received booster shots, is expected to physically report for work within the week.

On Friday, he vowed to fulfill the mandate of the DND “to the best of my abilities.”

He also said he will continue the policies and programs laid down by his predecessor, Delfin Lorenzana, in defending the country’s territorial integrity and protecting the Filipino people.

“Hangad ko na ipagpatuloy natin ang ating matatag na pagtutulungan upang lalo pa natin mapalakas ang pagtataguyod ng kapayapaan, pagtatanggol ng kalayaan, at mapangalagaan ang kaligtasan ng bawat mamamayang Pilipino,” Faustino said.

(I aspire to continue our strong cooperation so we can strengthen our pursuit for peace, defend our freedom, and ensure the safety of every Filipino citizen.)

He also assured Lorenzana: "Makakaasa po kayo na ipagpapatuloy po namin ang inyong mga nasimulan na magagandang nagawa sa DND at kami rin po ay patuloy na magkokonsulta sa inyo sa mga nalalapit pang mga araw dahil sa yaman ng inyong experience at sa napakagandang accomplishments na iyong nagawa sa DND at sa buong Pilipinas."

(Rest assured that we will continue the good work you have started at DND. We will continue consulting you in the coming days because of your experience and accomplishments at DND and the country.)

“We will ensure the smooth implementation of our modernization program in order to strengthen the protection of our sovereignty, defense of our territorial integrity and ensuring the continuity of our peaceful way of life,” he added. 

“Indeed, the future will be so bright with us working in unity manifested by our consistent and synergized actions.”

Faustino, who retired from the AFP only in November last year, was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the new Defense chief. 

Due to technicalities, he will first serve as an Undersecretary. Under the law, retired military officials may only be appointed to a government post a year after their retirement.

“Faustino's situation was similar to... Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año's case, whom President (Rodrigo) Duterte designated as officer-in-charge but later assumed the Secretary position once the appointment ban lapsed,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles previously said.

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