Philippine Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad on Sunday denied he was meddling with promotions in the Philippine Marine Corps, also dismissing rumors of a rift with Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño, which prompted the latter to bow out from the Marine service earlier than his actual retirement next year.
In an interview with reporters, Empedrad scotched such rumors, saying he even offered Parreño the post of vice commander or the “No. 2” of the Philippine Navy.
He said from the time the Navy’s vice commander post was left vacant as a result of Rear Adm. Allan Ferdinand Cusi’s new designation at the Philippine Military Academy as its superintendent, Parreño was asked to take over the position.
Empedrad added that he already discussed the matter with Parreño, with the latter agreeing to be assigned to the office of the flag officer in command of the Philippine Navy until his retirement in March 2020.
Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, the Armed Forces chief, said last week that Parreño had opted for an early retirement.
“Everything is working for the betterment of the Navy as a whole, so those rumors are just plain rumors and I assure you all that the leadership of the Navy is solid and [Parreño’s] replacement is a seasoned commander and a veteran warrior of the Philippine Marines,” Empedrad explained.
He also denied that he was interfering with the promotions of the Marines and even on other units under the Philippine Navy.
The Marine Corps is under the supervision of the Philippine Navy.
Empedrad, however, admitted that there were differences between him and Parreño, but that these had been resolved.
He was referring to Parreño’s preference to have the Marine Corps separated from the Philippine Navy, a move that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana did not favor.
“In the past, they want the Marines to be separated, that was our only difference, and this has been resolved already,” Empedrad said.
“The higher headquarters had already decided, and I hope this will be approved by the President, too, that instead of a separation [of the Marines from the Navy], the Marines will become a key budgetary unit,” he added.