Monday, January 3, 2011

New Navy chief namedNew Navy chief named

By Florante Solmerin
Manila Standard Today, Monday, January 3, 2010

Another member of the Philippine Military Academy’s “Matapat” Class ‘79 has just been promoted, adding to the growing list of the fair-haired boys who now occupy sensitive posts in the Armed Forces.

Rear Admiral Alexander Pama will assume his post as Navy’s flag-officer-in-command on January 4, replacing Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez, a class mate of Armed Forces chief Ricardo David, who will reach mandatory retirement on March 7, 2011.

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. on Sunday said the turnover of command will take place on Jan. 4. “Immediately after the turnover, there will be a command conference that will be officiated by the commander-in-chief (President Aquino),” Mabanta said.

With his new post, Pama outclassed his classmate, Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Jose

Luis Alano, and will join his classmates in key positions such as Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz and Northern Luzon Command commander Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan. His classmates include Major Gen. Francisco Cruz Jr, deputy chief for intelligence of the Air Force.

Most of his classmates got promoted several weeks after President Aquino assumed office.

Pama started his military career as a cadet in 1974. He was recipient of the 1979 PMA Journalism Award for being Editor-In-Chief of the PMA “The Corps” Magazine.

His assignments included Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Joint Task Force “Trillium” (Zamboanga-Basilan), Naval Task Group “Stingray” (Anti-Terrorism Task Group), and Naval Task Groups 61.1 and 61.2 (Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi).

Apart from being closely identified with former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., Pama was also known as a close friend of Senator Gregorio Honasan.

Pama vowed to push forward the modernization of the service.

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