Ex-AFP chief Guerrero moves to Marina’s top post

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President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero as the new administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

Duterte announced Guerrero’s appointment in a speech at the AFP change of command ceremony on April 18.

“The chair is occupied by [a] ghost. It’s about time that [you] report to that office by next week perhaps,” Duterte told Guerrero.

The President first announced in a speech on January 22 that he would appoint Guerrero as Marina chief after the latter retired, which was on April 24.

Guerrero was originally supposed to retire at the age of 58 on December 17, 2017, but Duterte extended his term until April this year. Guerrero replaces Marcial Quirico Amaro III, who was fired by Duterte last January for reportedly traveling overseas 24 times from 2016 to 2017, which in Duterte’s view was excessive, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Duterte has commended Guerrero’s performance as AFP chief of staff.

“Within his six months [as] AFP Chief, General Guerrero has competently and effectively continued the tradition of dedication and hard work [by] those who came before him and left a legacy of his own for future leaders to follow. His efforts have strengthened the foundations of not only a stronger [and] a better military, but also [of] a safer and more secure Philippines,” Duterte said.

Transportation undersecretary for maritime Felipe Judan has been overseeing Marina’s operations since the Marina chief post has become vacant.

Guerrero is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Maharlika Class of 1984.

Prior to his appointment as AFP chief of staff in October last year, Guerrero headed the Davao-based Eastern Mindanao Command.

He was also former commander of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion, a member of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Presidential Security Group, and former Army chief of staff, among other posts.

He is a four-time recipient of the Distinguished Service Star; Order of Lakan Dula (Degree of Commander); Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of Officer); and Honorary Airborne Wings from the Royal Thai Army, among other service awards.