Incoming DND chief vows to protect, defend PH sovereignty

June 20, 2022 Zaida I. Delos Reyes 332 views

STATING that national security is synonymous with human security, incoming Department of National Defense (DND) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Ret. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. on Sunday said he will do his best to ensure that all department programs will focus on protecting and defending the country’s sovereignty, respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and address the root of internal conflict.

Faustino also said he will make sure to implement the order of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. that not a single square inch of territory is “surrendered”.

“While we are protecting our territory, as instructed by the President, we will continue to engage our regional neighbors,” he said.

The incoming DND chief also said that he will be aligning the department’s program with the vision of the President of a “stronger and better Philippines through the nation-building, economic recovery, and national unity”.

“As the alter-ego of the President in the defense department, I will see to it that the DND will have a very good collaborative and consultative relationship with other government agencies.” He said.

He said the department would also cater to the major concerns and security challenges, including climate change and natural disasters, terrorism, support to law enforcement to address criminality and illegal drugs, cyber security, and ending the local communist armed conflict.

Faustino also vows to continuously support the successful programs of the peace agreement with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) and MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front).

On the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program, Faustino said they are now on the third horizon of the AFP modernization – building a more “reliable and credible AFP in strengthening territorial or external defense capability.”

“We will ensure the smooth implementation of the AFP Modernization and enhance our capability to defend our territory,” he continued.

Gen. Faustino was selected as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Department of National Defense (DND) by the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana welcomed the designation of Faustino to replace him effective June 30.

Faustino served as the 56th AFP Chief for a brief four months, from July 31, 2021, until his mandatory retirement on November 12, 2021.