New AFP commander takes over Wescom in Palawan
Navy Rear Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado formally took over on Monday as the commander of Palawan-based Western Command, which controls the Philippine claims in the West Philippine Sea.
Armed Forces spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in a statement that Mercado and the new vice commander, Marine Brig. Gen. Elvin Hermogino, assumed their positions after the retirement of Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez.
Lopez retired last April 29 and Hermogino was named as acting Wescom commander.
Both Mercado and Hermogino are from Philippine Military Academy “Matikas” Class of 1983.
Mercado, who was Philippine Fleet commander before he was assigned to Wescom, will keep his position at the Philippine Fleet in a concurrent capacity until his replacement is named.
Padilla said that Mercado “served with distinction and has had a very colorful and progressive military career,” with “stints in varied command and staff positions in the Navy and the AFP General Headquarters.”
Acting Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda who presided over the ceremonies, congratulated the Wescom for its participation in the recent elections, saying that Palawan had one of the “the most peaceful elections” last May 9. It recorded zero incident on election day.
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