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Mercado new Navy chief

Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph S. Mercado is the new Flag-Officer-in-Command of the Philippine Navy.

He replaced Vice Admiral Caesar C. Taccad who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 56.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya presided over the change of command and retirement ceremony at the Sailor Heroes Memorial, Naval Base Haracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City.

In his speech, Mercado, concurrent commander of the Armed Forces Western Command, vowed that “the Philippine Navy will continue to focus on the development and sustainment of fleet and Marine forces for operations.”

Mercado is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983 and held various positions before becoming Navy chief. He was the commander of the Philippine Fleet, Navy vice commander, and chief of naval staff, among others. (Francis T. Wakefield)