The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that 501st Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier General Alan Arrojado has relinquished his post effective Wednesday. Arrojado was replaced by Col. Jose Faustino, said AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.
The former is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1984.
The 501st Infantry Brigade is presently based in Sulu and is one of the units helping in the ongoing operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group and other lawless elements.
Arrojado used to be the concurrent commander of Joint Task Group Sulu before being replaced by 1st Infantry Division commander Major Gen. Gerardo Barrientos last April 5.
“Brig. Gen. Arojado has served with distinction as brigade commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade and 501st Infantry Brigade for a total period of two years and years months. In the last 18 months he led the campaign against the KFRGs (kidnap-for-ransom groups) in the Island of Jolo,” Padilla added.
Army officers usually serve a minimum of one year and six months in major positions to complete their billet requirements.
However, sources claimed Arrojado opted to step-down from his post after “conflict of approach (in) addressing the ASG threat in Sulu.”
The latter’s replacement come in wake of Canadian John Ridsdel’s beheading by the ASG during their April 25 deadline.
The ASG earlier set an April 8 deadline for the payment of ransom but this was moved to the above-mentioned date.
The bandits carried out the threat after the Canadian government refused to give in to the ASGs’ PHP300 million – PHP1 billion ransom demand.
Ridsdel along with Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingtad and Filipina Marites Flor, Hall’s girlfriend were kidnapped last Sept. 21, 2015 by the brigands while staying at the Ocean View Resort, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao Del Norte.