Sacked Navy chief not likely to have new post until retirement
Relieved Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado will not likely have any new position until his retirement in March 2018, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.
“Ang status niya, dito siya sa office ng chief of staff. Tigil siya d’yan until his retirement unless mabigyan siya ng iba pang position but I doubt kasi masyado ng maiksi ang time niya,” he told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo.
(His status is he’s here in the office of the chief of staff. He’ll be there until his retirement unless he’s given another position but I doubt it because his time is too short.)
Mercado was unceremoniously replaced early this week by Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad over the controversial P18-billion frigate acquisition project with South Korea’s shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Lorenzana accused Mercado of insubordination, as the latter insisted on a particular combat management system (CMS) for the big-ticket project.
The defense chief alleged that Mercado threatened to scrap the weapons contract if his preference would not be followed.
“We have to follow kung ano ang nasa (what is on the) contract. We cannot deviate from that dahil kung mag-deviate tayo sa (because if we deviate from the) contract, the proponent will also go to court,” Lorenzana said.
Because of Mercado’s insistence on his favored CMS, it had led to the delay of the project for four months now, the defense chief added.
“We cannot afford to delay that kasi ‘pag na-delay, hihingi nanaman ng escalation ang contractor, gastos na naman satin ‘yun (if it gets delayed, the contractor will ask for escalation and that’s added expenses),” he said. /je
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