President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday led the change of command ceremony of the Philippine Navy assuring the service of his administration’s full support in enhancing the capabilities of its uniformed personnel.
“As the Philippine Navy sails forward under a new leadership, I trust that you, the officers and personnel of our Navy, will rally behind your incoming Flag Officer-in-Command, Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo,” President Duterte said during the ceremony at the Navy headquarters in Manila.
The President expressed confidence that under the leadership of Admiral Bacordo, the country’s Navy will continue to achieve more milestones in the campaign to protect the freedoms and democratic values that the Filipino people hold dear.
“It is my hope you will become the embodiment of integrity and valor as you lead your Navy in securing the seas and the future of our land,” he further said.
Admiral Bacordo, the Navy’s 38th Flag Officer-in-Command, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987 and has served various commands of the Philippine Navy for 36 years.
Prior to his appointment as Navy chief, he became the commander of the Philippine Fleet, commanded units involved in territorial defense in the West Philippine Sea and fought communist insurgents as well as local terrorist groups. He also spearheaded the crafting of the Philippine Navy’s roadmap “Sail Plan 2020.”
Also during Monday’s event, President Duterte honored outgoing Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad for his successful tour of duty.
Under Empedrad’s leadership, the Philippines has increased its naval presence in its waters, deterring various threats and defending its sovereignty. The country also maintained peace and order in Mindanao during Martial Law and protected the people against terrorism, smuggling and human trafficking.
Recently, the Navy also spearheaded humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations for Filipinos working in Iran and those affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.
“I also recognize your full support for our AFP Modernization Program which seeks to provide our men and women in uniform the necessary equipment and skills to excel in their role as defenders of this nation,” the President said of Empedrad.
“Let me take this occasion to acknowledge your more than three decades of professional career in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. And on behalf of a grateful nation, I thank you for your remarkable service, sir.”
Also in attendance were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., and other members of the Cabinet. PND