Since his appointment as the first commander of the Joint Task Force Mindanao, Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino, continues to drop round and check on the situation of the military units and communities under his area of operation.
During his visit to the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu from July 17 to 19, 2021, Lt. Gen. Faustino reaffirmed the importance of the multi-stakeholder alliance.
“Our numerous successes in our peace efforts prove that peacebuilding is a shared responsibility. Peace and prosperity can not be attained through warfighting alone. We need to work together to nourish the seeds of peace for it to grow and last hence we must strengthen our collaboration and cooperation,” said Lt. Gen. Faustino during his talk to the troops and the local chief executives of the two provinces.
Lt. Gen. Faustino also expressed his gratitude to the local chief executives for their all-out support to the AFP’s campaign to end terrorism and lawlessness in the region.
As part of his trip, Lt. Gen. Faustino met with Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman and Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan.
He also visited the Sampinit Complex in the municipality of Sumisip. Sampinit Complex used to be a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan but through the hard work of the soldiers, the stronghold was overrun and the area was finally declared as a “peace zone”.
“This is the fruit of the sweat, blood, and tears of our soldiers. All we have to do now is to protect this sanctuary,” Lt. Gen. Faustino further stated.
Still in Basilan, Brig. Gen. Gobway presented the 204 firearms that were surrendered by the civilians through the Small Arms and Light Weapons program that was launched in Basilan as part of the normalization process in the Bangsamoro region.
In Sulu, the JTF Mindanao Commander visited the crash site of ill-fated C-130 aircraft and offered prayers for the souls of the fallen comrades-in-arms.
Meanwhile, during his separate talks to the troops in Basilan and Sulu, Lt. Gen. Faustino enjoined the soldiers to remain steadfast in accomplishing their unit’s mission.
“Let us continue to work hard to eliminate the threats and win the peace,” the commander said.
During his unit visits and meetings with the local chief executives, Lt. Gen. Faustino was accompanied by WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Davao Del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, and the respective commanders of the military units in the two provinces.
“I am happy that with the creation of the Joint Task Force Mindanao, we now have a senior officer who closely monitors our operations here in the area,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.
Joint Task Force Mindanao was activated in June 2021 purposely to consolidate the efforts of the Eastern Mindanao Command and Western Mindanao Command in addressing common peace and security problems most especially in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Lt. Gen. Faustino who is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988, is the 1st commander of the newly activated task force.