Philippine Navy seizes nearly P68M worth of smuggled rice in Zamboanga

admin   •   April 16, 2018   •   4005

Over 27,000 sacks of allegedly smuggled rice were siezed by the Philippine Navy.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy Western Mindanao Command apprehended a Mongolian-registered vessel in the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay on Saturday, April 14.

Over 27,000 sacks of allegedly smuggled rice were seized from the cargo vessel.

Onboard MV Diamond 8 were 15 crew members identified as 11 Bangladeshis and 4 Chinese nationals, together with 34 undocumented Filipinos including a minor.

According to investigation, the cargo ship has already unloaded around 7,000 to 8,000 sacks to two other vessels with locations yet to be determined. — UNTV News & Rescue

Proposed construction of navy detachment in Fuga Island approved

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 14, 2019

CEZA Administrator and CEO Sec. Raul Lambino and Flag Officer In Command, PN, Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) as witnessed by other key officials from both parties. (Philippine Navy)

The proposed construction of navy detachment in Fuga Island in Cagayan has been approved after the Philippine Navy and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on November 13.

The memorandum was signed by CEZA Administrator and CEO Sec. Raul Lambino and Flag Officer In Command, PN, Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad.

“The Philippine Navy is very thankful to Sec. Lambino and his team for agreeing to expand the previous memorandum of agreement, and effectively accommodating more possibilities for the navy to enhance its capability in safeguarding our northern frontier and at the same time contribute to the socio-economic development in Northern Luzon,” Empedrad said.

In a statement, the Philippine Navy said the navy detachment will be built in the CEZA-managed zone which includes the entire municipality of Sta. Ana and the islands of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag in the Municipality of Aparri, Province of Cagayan.

Lambino said the PN-CEZA partnership can effectively protect and secure the Philippine sovereignty.

“The geographical configuration of our country requires an active Philippine Navy. As a Filipino and as an Ilocano together with Vice Admiral [Empedrad] we are going to make Northern Luzon an area where the Philippine Navy can be most effective in protecting our country and our people,” he said.—AAC

Blast hits outside Sulu mayor’s house

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019

An explosion struck outside the house of Pangutaran, Sulu Mayor Asri Taib in Barangay Canelar Moret, Zamboanga City on Thursday morning (October 24).

According to Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) Spokesperson Maj. Arvin Encinas, it was only a minor explosion with no casualties reported. He also said the improvised explosive device (IED) used was only small.

Authorities are continuing to investigate on the perpetrators behind the explosion as well as the motive behind the action.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PH Navy gets new vice commander, chief of staff after Cusi departure

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy has installed a new vice commander and chief of staff following the departure of Rear Admiral Allan Ferdinand Cusi to assume his new post as superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Major General Dante Hidalgo is the new Navy vice commander (VCom) replacing Cusi who was transferred to the top PMA post following the resignation of Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista over the hazing death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio.

Cusi held the VCOM post in acting capacity for a month while serving as the commander of Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command (NETDC).

Hidalgo and Cusi are both members of the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986.

Flag Officer in Command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, presided over the joint turn-over ceremony at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila on Friday.

Hidalgo was the former commander of the Naval Reserve Command.

Meanwhile, Littoral Combat Force commander, Commodore Rey Dela Cruz will now be the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), replacing Rear Admiral Loumer Bernabe who is designated as the new commander of NETDC.

Bernabe and Dela Cruz are mistahs from PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

The vice commander and the chief of naval staff are two of the highest positions in the Philippine Navy organization next to the Flag officer in command.

The vice commander acts as the principal assistant of the Navy chief in decision-making process and policy formulation and implementation, while the naval staff chief administers all members of Philippine Navy staff in the accomplishment of the respective missions.

In his remarks during the ceremony, Empedrad underscored the importance of the turn-over of duties and responsibilities.

“It is but proper that we put the right person at the right job,” he said, further vouching for these senior officers whose “credibility, credentials, integrity and expertise” make them deserving to occupy their respective posts.

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