The Philippine Navy (PN) conducted a Change of Command Ceremony for the newly appointed navy chief today, February 03 here at the PN headquarters. Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo J. Bacordo officially assumes the position as the 38th Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy (FOIC, PN).
The Commander-In-Chief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presided the turnover of helm from its outgoing navy chief, Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad to the incoming FOIC, PN. Immediately followed is the retirement ceremony on which Vice Adm. Empedrad retired in place reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 today on his birthday.
In his remarks, the newly assumed FOIC, PN Rear Adm. Bacordo highlighting his priority programs for the navy said, “I will implement programs that will ensure that these new defense capabilities will remain to be capable through time… not only we will have modern platforms, but also modern systems and modern mindsets to ensure that we will continue to fulfill our mission and remain to be a strong and credible Navy that our maritime nation can be proud of.”
“When all these programs and initiatives are implemented, your sailors and marines will be more effective and efficient in the performance of internal security operations, territorial defense operations, IDSE, and humanitarian disaster response operations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the outgoing navy chief narrated the major accomplishments of the PN during his stint. He focused on the four major components which are to eliminate corruption; holistic approach in pursuing the modernization of the PN; strengthening and development of the reserve force; and the mission accomplishment and enhancement of the morale and welfare of the personnel. He showcased the many historic first in the Navy’s accomplishment. He said, “I am very happy, fulfilled with a contented heart knowing that the guidance I set forth came into fruition. Our dream of becoming a strong and credible navy has become a reality.”
For his part, President Duterte told the men and women of the Philippine Navy to rally behind the new navy leadership under its newly assumed Flag Officer In Command. On the other hand, he lauded the outgoing navy chief for his contributions and remarkable service during his stint.
Vice Adm. Empedrad is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” class of 1986. He had continuously proven himself to be a top-notch officer destined to lead the Philippine Navy. During his stint as the navy chief, he is instrumental on enhancing the navy’s capability and upgrade through the ongoing modernization efforts of the PN under the AFP Modernization Program. He will leave the service with more than 38 years.
On the other hand, Rear Admiral Bacordo is a magna cum laude graduate of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987. He has been serving for more than 36 years in various command and staff positions. Prior to his appointment, he is the current Commander of the Philippine Fleet. He commanded navy units that involve on the territorial defense in the West Philippine Sea, threats from the CPP-NPA, secessionist and other local terrorist groups, and spearheading the crafting of the PN’s roadmap, “Sail Plan 2020.”
The Change of Command Ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that demonstrate the transfer of authority and responsibility of a unit between the outgoing to the incoming Commanding Officers. The new Philippine Navy leadership will strive to continue the PN’s vision of a stronger, more credible and modern navy that the maritime nation can be proud of. NAVY.MIL.PH