FIVE senior officers of the Philippine Coast Guard have been recommended to succeed outgoing PCG commandant Adm. Elson Hermogino, who is due to reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Oct. 22.
PCG spokesman Capt. Armand Balilo said leading the five is the PCG’s No. 2 man, Vice Adm. Joel Garcia, the deputy commandant for administration and concurrent director of the National Coast Watch Center.
Also recommended for the post were deputy commandant for operations Rear Adm.
Leopoldo Larroya, Marine Environmental Protection Command chief Rear Adm. Jorge Ursabia, Internal Affairs Service chief Rear Adm. Lyndon La Torre, and Maritime Security Command chief Rear Adm. Joselito Dela Cruz.
Balilo said Garcia graduated from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in 1986.
Ursabia and La Torre are members of the Philippine Military Academy class of 1987 while Larroya and Dela Cruz are from the PMA class 1988.
Balilo said the PCG recommended the five as possible successors of Hermogino to transport secretary Arthur Tugade, “who will endorse the candidates to the President.”
Hermogino assumed his post as PCG commandant in January last year, replacing commandant Rear Adm. William Melad, who was suspended by the Ombudsman for failing to liquidate P67.5 million in PCG funds.
“They are all qualified, seasoned officers. In short, they’re already ripe to become commandant,” said Balilo. – Victor Reyes