MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte has given the green light to the appointment of Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino, Jr. as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Malacañang said on Friday.
Duterte "approved and signed" Faustino's new designation effective July 31, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
"We are confident that Gen. Faustino will continue the peace and development efforts of his predecessors while aggressively building up our defense capability," Roque said in a statement.
"We pray for Gen. Faustino's success as he embarks in his new role as AFP Chief," added the spokesperson.
Faustino replaces outgoing AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, who retires on July 31.
The AFP in May removed Faustino as commanding general of the Philippine Army in an acting capacity. This is to comply with a law that states the Army chief should have at least 1 year remaining in the service on the day of his assumption.
Faustino will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 in November.
He previously served as commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, based in Davao City.
Sobejana called Faustino his “buddy” in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where both officers served for several years.
Faustino was commander of the 35th Infantry Battalion and eventually of the 501st Infantry Brigade, both in the province of Sulu.
He also has a background in intelligence, having served as an intelligence officer of the First Scout Ranger Regiment, assistant chief of staff for intelligence of the 10th Infantry Division, deputy chief of staff for intelligence of the Philippine Army, and assistant chief of the Unified Command Staff for Intelligence of the NCR Command, among other posts.