5 senior officers shortlisted for Coast Guard top post

MANILA — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday said it has submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte the names of five candidates for Commandant, which will be vacated by Admiral Elson Hermogino upon his retirement on October 22.

In a message sent to the media, PCG spokesperson, Capt. Armando Balilo said these include:

-Vice Admiral Joel Garcia, deputy commandant for operations, director of the National Coast Watch Center, and a merchant marine officer from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy;

-Rear Admiral Leopoldo Larroya, deputy commandant for operations and a graduate from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class of 1988;

-Rear Admiral Jorge Ursabia, commander of Marine Environmental Protection Command and a graduate of PMA class of 1987;

-Rear Admiral Lyndon La Torre, commander of the Internal Affairs Service and a graduate of PMA class of 1987; and

-Rear Admiral Joselito de la Cruz, commander of Maritime Security Command and a graduate of PMA class of 1988.

On the sidelines of the 118th anniversary of the PCG, Hermogino said the five recommendations are the most senior officers of the PCG and all possess the necessary qualifications.

“We have submitted those qualified officers so let the President (decide). I do not want na pangunahan kung sino ang matunog (to pre-empt who’s most likely to be chosen),” Hermogino said in an interview.

He added that the list has been submitted since last month and his replacement will probably be chosen a day or two before his retirement.

During the event, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded the efforts of the PCG in boosting their capability in maritime safety and security through modernization and other efforts.

“I came to you today, in my own self, to assure you that for so long as it is needed for the security and safety of our maritime waters, I shall be with the Philippine Coast Guard,” Tugade said.

Tugade said before the end of Duterte’s term, he hopes to see the PCG hospital, PCG academy, and the K9 training school realized to bolster the capabilities of the maritime security group.  Raymond Carl Dela Cruz / PNA – northboundasia.com