Thursday, May 1, 2014

President Aquino leads Philippine Navy change of command in Cavite

From the Philippine News Agency (May 1): President Aquino leads Philippine Navy change of command in Cavite

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday led the change of command of the Philippine Navy in Sangley Point here, asking Navy personnel to continue their dedication to service for the benefit of the people.

“Ngayong may bago nang magtitimon sa Philippine Navy, ito naman po ang panawagan ko sa inyong hanay: Manatili nawa kayong matatag sa inyong tungkulin,” the President told the uniformed personnel of the Navy.

“Ituring ninyong angkla ang tiwala at malasakit sa inyo ng sambayanang Pilipino, sa pagharap ninyo sa anumang misyon sa serbisyo. Sa huli, nasa iisang bangka pa rin ang ating lahi, iisang bansa pa rin tayong susulong sa pagkamit ng mga tagumpay na matagal na nating minimithi.”

President Aquino said that under his leadership, the government has paid extra attention to the needs of the armed forces with the paramount thrust of modernizing it.

The previous administrations neglected the needs of the military, he said, noting that the present government however will continue to pursue the modernization of the armed forces.

For instance, he said, the Philippine Navy was able to acquire two Hamilton-class Cutters from the US—the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, and BRP Ramon Alcaraz –which now patrol the country’s coastlines.

The Navy also commissioned the BRP Tagbanua, the first landing craft utility made in the Philippines.

These ships are in addition to new sea craft, three new naval helicopters, and the modernization of the country’s coast watch stations, he said.

President Aquino said he is excited to see more upgrade in the Navy under the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

He praised the leadership of outgoing Navy Chief ViceAdmiral Jose Luis Alano, who spearheaded the acquisition of new vessels and equipment for the Navy.

He also commended Alano for accomplishing the Navy’s missions during several crises in the country, such as the Lahad Datu incident, the Zamboanga siege, typhoons Pablo and Santi, as well as the Bohol and Cebu earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda.

The President expressed confidence that new Navy Chief Rear Admiral Jesus Millan would be able to continue the programs initiated by his predecessor.

Prior to his new appointment, Millan was commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, chief of Naval staff, commander of the Naval Reserve Command and commander of the Naval Air Group.

Millan was also commander of several Navy vessels, among them the PS 36, PS 31, PG 374 and PG 388.

A member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1982, Millan is a recipient of the distinguished service stars, the distinguished Navy cross, bronze cross medals, military merit medals and military commendation medals.

Aside from presiding the Navy’s change of command, the President also led the retirement ceremony for Rear Admiral Alano.

Present during the event were Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., and AFP chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista.

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