New Navy chief takes over command

REAR Admiral Alexander Pama formally took over the command of the Philippine Navy in a simple turnover ceremony presided by the commander-in-chief, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III today at the Navy Headquarters in Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

Pama, who belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 79, replaces Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez (PMA 77), who retired yesterday, as the 32nd Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) of the Philippine Navy.

A veteran of campaigns against Islamic militants and Moro rebels in the southern Philippines, Pama has served as the Navy’s vice commander before being named to the top naval post.

In his speech, Pama described his assumption as the country’s top Navy officer as a “the defining moment” of his life, adding that he is ready to face the challenge.

The new FOIC said he will focus on reforming the Navy, especially in disaster response, human resources and regional maritime commands.

Pama’s appointment of the top naval post will signal the start of new rounds of major reshuffle in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), since the AFP chief Gen. Ricardo David Jr. is set to retire in March.  Anthony Vargas

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