Marine commandant opts for early retirement

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    MARINE commandant Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño has opted to go on early retirement for still unknown reasons but knowledgeable sources said he is bowing out of the service due to a conflict with Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad.

    “He is planning to go on early retirement. Whatever his personal reason about it, I’m not aware,” Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Noel Clement said of Parreño, brother of elections commissioner Al Parreño.

    Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Casem, the Naval Inspector General, had been designated as the new Marine commandant. He is due to assume his new post on Monday during rites at the Marine headquarters in Taguig City.

    “We are still awaiting word as to the confirmation if the secretary (of national defense Delfin Lorenzana) has actually approved the early retirement of the Marine commandant,” said Clement.

    A military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Parreño is leaving the service five months ahead of his mandatory retirement age of 56 because of differences with Empedrad.

    Parreño and Empedrad are classmates at the Philippine Military Academy class of 1986. Casem belongs to PMA class of 1987.

    “He (Parreño) decided to step down because of his problem with his mistah (classmate), the flag officer in command,” the source said, referring to Empedrad.

    The source said Empedrad has been meddling in the assignment of officers at the Marines.

    “Its militics (military politics),” said the source.

    The source added that Parreño is projected to be a three-star general but Empedrad is said to be blocking it.

    “He (Parreño) no longer wants to work under the FOIC,” added the source. The Philippine Marines is one of the major units of the Navy.

    Empedrad did not answer repeated calls to air his side.