Jose C Faustino Jr
Fri | July 01, 2022

Honorable Jose Calingasan Faustino Jr. took the helm of the Department of National Defense on 30 June 2022, carrying his vision of a responsive, unified, and robust defense organization. 

Senior Undersecretary Faustino was born on November 12, 1965 in Itogon, Benguet. He received his secondary education from Marcelo H. del Pilar High School in Bulacan. Then, he took a year of college at Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) before studying at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), where he graduated in 1988.

Upon receiving his commission to the Philippine Army, Undersecretary Faustino focused on special operations.  He was assigned with the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSSR) and served initially as a Platoon Leader.  From 1988 to 1995, he was deployed to different line companies and units of the FSSR nationwide, which he capped by leading the 7th Scout Ranger Company in the rugged mountains of Northern Luzon.  Subsequently, he undertook various staff and leadership positions in the different units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), including key positions with the then Philippine Army's Intelligence and Security Group, now the Army Intelligence Regiment (AIR).

Undersecretary Faustino demonstrated his command and leadership prowess throughout his years in military service, spearheading the efforts of various army units against the communist terrorist group (CTG) and other lawless elements, especially in Mindanao.  From December 2006 to January 2009, he commanded the 35th Infantry Battalion; from April 2016 to February 2018, he led the 501st Infantry Brigade - both deployments were in Sulu.  Then Colonel Faustino initiated the Bayanihan Team Activities in areas with heavy concentrations of Abu Sayyaf elements.  This initiative, now known as the Community Support Program of the AFP, has evolved and is now institutionalized and implemented across the country by all military units.  As commander of the 10th Infantry (Agila) Divison based in Mawab, Davao de Oro, he oversaw and strongly supported diverse military operations that resulted in the steady dismantling of several communist guerilla fronts in vital areas of Regions 11 and 12.

With his expertise in internal security operations, Undersecretary Faustino was designated as the Commander of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command from January 2020 to February 2021, where he prioritized the operationalization of Executive Order No. 70 (s. 2018), officially known as the "Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach in addressing the local communist armed conflict under the provisions of the Executive Order No. 70 (s. 2018), officially known as the “Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, and directing the adoption of a National Peace Framework.”

In February 2021, he was chosen to become the Acting Commanding General of the Philippine Army and then as the Commander of Joint Task Force Mindanao, where he exercised close supervision over both the Eastern and Western Mindanao Commands and during which he crafted the Mindanao Security and Stability Plan.  In July 2021, Undersecretary Faustino became the 56th AFP Chief of Staff.  He strengthened the organization’s external defense operations capability while vigorously pursuing the AFP Modernization Program (AFPMP), the AFP Self-Reliance Defense Posture (SRDP), and the AFP Program in Preventing and Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism (PCRVE). 

Undersecretary Faustino earned several distinct military and civilian credentials from domestic and foreign learning institutions.  He completed his Command and General Staff Course at the Republic of Korea Army College in 2006 and the United Nations Integrated Mission Staff Officers Course in Canada in 2010. 

Throughout his more than 38 years in active military service, Undersecretary Faustino received numerous military awards and commendations for his achievements and remarkable contributions to the success of the AFP’s multi-faceted missions.  These include two Distinguished Service Stars, Distinguished Service Medals, several Silver Cross and Bronze Cross Medals, the Philippine Legion of Honor awarded by the President of the Philippines, and other awards in recognition of his combat and administrative accomplishments. 

Undersecretary Faustino is happily married to the former Ms. Joy Bautista, and they are blessed with a loving daughter, Christine.