Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Navy Western Mindanao chief named

By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star, Monday, 8 November 2010

MANILA, Philippines - A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class ’79 has been appointed as acting commander of the Naval Forces in Western Mindanao.

Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) chief Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said Commodore Orwen Cortez has been designated as acting chief of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, which covers areas believed to be hideouts of local terrorists.

“Commodore Orwen Cor tez assumed on Nov. 4,” Dolorfino said.

Cortez succeeded Brig. Gen. Eugenio Clemen who was previously assigned to the post in an acting capacity. Prior to his appointment as Western Mindanao Naval Forces chief, Cortez was commander of the Naval Forces Western Command based in Palawan.

Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta, Jr. said Cortez will only serve in an acting capacity since Rear. Adm. Feliciano Angue, who has been appointed to the post, is being probed for airing his concerns to the media.

“Admiral Angue’s designation as Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief has been approved by the President. Since he is being investigated, he cannot assume the post,” he said in a phone interview.

“He (Cortez) will serve in an acting capacity. The issuance (of designation) is only at the Navy level. It is not approved by the President.”

Mabanta said Cortez is competent and qualified to handle his new assignment.

Angue has been named Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief but his appointment was deferred pending the probe on his alleged violation of the military code of ethics.

Angue had claimed that the promotion system is politicized and that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin is meddling in the giving of posts. He claimed that PMA class ’79 members, especially those who served as Gazmin’s subordinates, benefited from the favoritism in the promotion system.

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