New PH Marines commandant takes charge

/ 10:11 AM October 15, 2019


Nathaniel Casem

Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Casem replaces outgoing Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño, who resigned five months away from his retirement. INQUIRER.net / FRANCES MANGOSING






MANILA, Philippines — Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Casem assumed command of the 9,500-strong Philippine Marine Corps on Monday at a simple change of command ceremony at the Marine headquarters in Taguig City.

The sudden change of leadership exposed a supposed rift between outgoing Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño and Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad.

Parreño has five months left in service before his mandatory retirement in March 2020, but he decided to relinquish his post even without a specific assignment waiting for him after his resignation.

He said he only wanted “to give way to a younger generation of warriors” after having led the Corps for two years.

He also turned down Empedrad’s offer to become the vice commander of the Philippine Navy.

“I’m leaving five months before my scheduled retirement with a grateful heart and peaceful spirit, and my principles intact, and my conscience unperturbed,” he said.

Military sources said Parreño’s alleged differences with Empedrad started with the Marines’ efforts to be an independent unit from the Philippine Navy last year.


The Navy chief admitted that it had previously been an issue between the two of them but it was long “resolved.” As a result, the Marines were given direct control of their finances by becoming a key budgetary unit instead of being separated from the Philippine Navy.

He acknowledged Parreño as “the commandant who transformed the Corps as a separate budgetary unit.”

“This is a first in the armed forces. The transformation has several birth pains as expected… There will be more birth pains but Maj. Gen. Parreno has laid down a firm foundation for the transformation,” Empedrad said.

The Navy chief was also accused of meddling in the assignments in the Philippine Marines, but he dismissed the allegations as rumors. /muf

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: commandant, Military, Philippine Marines, Philippine Navy
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.