4TH STAR. President Rodrigo Duterte (left) dons the four-star rank to Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. on the sidelines of his visit at the Bicol International Airport, Daraga, Albay on Thursday (Oct. 7, 2021). Duterte has approved the appointment of Faustino and five other AFP senior officers effective September 15. (Photo courtesy of AFP)

MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr. officially received his fourth star and was promoted to the rank of General on Thursday.

In a statement on Friday, AFP public affairs office chief, Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata said President Rodrigo Duterte, also the Commander-in-Chief, personally administered the donning of rank to Faustino during his official visit at the Bicol International Airport, Daraga, Albay.

Duterte also donned a new rank to Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) commander Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro on the same occasion.

“It is an honor to don these lustrous stars which carry the weight of our obligations to the country and its people. This milestone demands no less than exemplary performance in the fulfillment of our mandate as soldiers," Faustino said.

Duterte has approved the appointment of Faustino and five other AFP senior officers effective September 15.

Faustino took over the AFP leadership from Gen. Cirilito Sobejana who bowed out from military service on July 31 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

Prior to his assumption as the 56th AFP chief-of-staff, Faustino was the head of the Joint Task Force Mindanao and has also served as the acting commanding general of the Philippine Army.

He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1988. Faustino likewise held various military positions such as battalion and brigade commander in Western Mindanao and chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command among others.

“With the help of the hardworking men and women of the AFP, rest assured that the military's tradition of excellence and professionalism is continuously upheld," the AFP chief said. (PNA)