Contenders for next PH Navy chief named

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A RESHUFFLE in the Philippine Navy looms as its commander, Vice Admiral Caesar Taccad, bows out of office on November 13 when he will have reached the mandatory retirement age of 56.

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Although the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is yet to formally announce his replacement, a turnover of command has been set on November 12, or a day before Taccad’s retirement.

Among the contenders for the post are Vice Admiral Joseph Mercado, commander of the AFP Western Command; Rear Admiral Rafael Mariano, Vice Commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Bayani Gaerlan, commander of the Philippine Fleet; and Rear Admiral Narciso Bengson, commander of the Navy’ education and training.

“Whoever becomes the next flag officer-in-command among those in this list of very senior and competent flag officers of the Philippine Navy will surely serve our purpose well. They are all seasoned commanders and managers, they have gone through all the billets in the Philippine Navy from junior command at sea to their respective designations as staff and then other management positions as they rose from the ranks of the Philippine Navy,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said.

“So whoever will become the next flag officer-in-command will surely bring our Navy to the next horizon, as we face the challenge and harness change,” he added. FERNAN MARASIGAN

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