�� 10 Coast Guard officials get promoted amid WPS challenges | Inquirer News
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10 Coast Guard officials get promoted amid WPS challenges

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 05:34 AM February 16, 2023

PCG logs 14,441 outbound and 10,476 inbound travelers on Christmas Day morning

Philippine Coast Guard logo over a photo of PCG members on a rubber boat. INQUIRER FILES

President Marcos has promoted several officials of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), including its spokesperson Armando Balilo, at a time when the civilian maritime security force is increasingly figuring in tense encounters with Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The President promoted Commodore Balilo to the rank of rear admiral, the Presidential Communications Office said on Wednesday.

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Aside from Balilo, Gregorio Adel Jr., Hostillo Arturo Cornelio, Eustacio Nimrod Enriquez Jr., Edgardo Hernando, Rudyard Somera and Nelson Torre were also promoted to the rank of rear admiral.

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Mr. Marcos also promoted Joseph Coyme, Ronnie Gil Gavan and Robert Patrimonio to the rank of vice admiral.

Critical role

In October last year, the President assured the PCG of government support for its modernization program, its “critical” role in defending the country’s maritime territory, economic zones and baselines.

During his last speaking engagement at the agency in January, he called on the PCG to always be prepared to defend Philippine waters, particularly the WPS.

An agency under the Department of Transportation, the PCG has continually been making headlines as it reports being blocked or harassed by its Chinese counterpart.

The latest of these encounters was on Feb. 6, when a Chinese coast guard ship directed a military-grade laser at the PCG vessel BRP Malapascua, causing temporary blindness among the Filipino crew members.

On Tuesday, the Philippine government filed a diplomatic protest while the President also summoned Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian to Malacañang over the incident.

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