MANILA, Philippines (Updated) – Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad assumed as the new chief of the Philippine Navy on Monday, August 10, in a change of command ceremony led by President Benigno Aquino III.
Taccad replaced Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1982. Millan reached on Monday his mandatory retirement age of 56.
He assumes his post as the Philippines awaits ruling on its international arbitration case against China and continues to demand the military power to adhere to international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
"As maritime security challenges continuously evolve, I will keep on counting on each one of you as we stand together being the gallant protectors of the Philippine archipelago – our country, our home," Taccad said in his assumption speech, addressing the marines and sailors of the navy.
"I shall steer the Philippine Navy towards continued transformation, modernization, professionalization and overall progress in order to provide the maritime defense and security that is expected from a strong and formidable navy," he added.
President Aquino ordered Taccad to prepare for the big challenges ahead.
"Rear Admiral Taccad: Di biro ang bago mong tungkulin; masalimuot ang mga pagsubok na hinaharap ng ating bansa. Kailangan mong balansehin ang kapasidad ng ating hukbo sa pagtugon sa mga banta sa ating seguridad," Aquino said
(Rear Admiral Taccad: Your task is not an easy one. The challenges will be tough. You have to balance the capacity of our men to be able to respond to security threats.)
The Aquino administration saw tension between Manila and Beijing in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) following the discontinuation of joint exploration with China and Vietnam.. (READ: Aquino's legacy: Defying China)
Taccad was previously the Vice Commander of the Philippine Navy and before that its Chief of Naval Staff. He also oversaw the modernization of the Philippine Navy.
Taccad has a Masters of Science in Management from the Naval Postgraduate Schollin Monterey, California, and Masters of National Security and Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines. – Rappler.com