New Army Chief assumes post Tuesday

Published May 17, 2021, 2:02 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine Army (PA) will officially install Major General Andres Centino as its 64th Commanding General in a Change of Command ceremony that will be held on Tuesday, May 18.

Centino will replace Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., who was elevated to the office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana as his “Special Assistant on Peace and Development.”

As a special assistant of Sobejana on peace and development operations, Faustino will “closely supervise the programs, activities, and projects of the AFP Peace and Development Office” especially on matters pertaining to the normalization process of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB). It includes the assurance that the decommissioning of firearms of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MI:F) combatants remain on schedule.

Faustino will retire in November 2021.

Centino, on the other hand, will be vacating his current post as the commander of the Cagayan de Oro City-based 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division (4ID).

“The Philippine Army welcomes the appointment of Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, commander of the 4th Infantry ‘Diamond’ Division as the 64th Commanding General of the Philippine Army,” the Army said in a statement on Monday, May 17.

“His extensive knowledge and experience will greatly contribute in fulfilling the Philippine Army’s mandate in serving the people and securing the land,” it added.

Prior to his appointment, Centino held various key positions in the military. He served as the battalion commander of the 26th Infantry Battalion in 2008; Secretary Army General Staff in 2013; and commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade in 2017.

He was also assigned as the deputy chief of staff for operations, J3, at AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in 2019 before he eventually became the 4ID commander in 2020 where he led various successful operations against communist rebels in Northern Mindanao (Region 10) and Caraga (Region 13).

Both Centino and Faustino are members of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988.

Meanwhile, Faustino had served the Army in an acting capacity for barely three months.