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AFP unit in charge of West Philippine Sea gets new commander

Vice Admiral Rene Medina. Photo from AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which is directly in charge of securing the country’s claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) now has a new commander.

Vice Admiral Rene Medina assumed his new post in a ceremony presided by Armed Forces chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. on Saturday at the Western Command (Wescom) headquarters in Palawan, Wescom Cpt. Cheryl Tindog said in a statement.

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Medina replaced Commodore Dorvin Jose Lagspi, who served as acting commander for three months.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986, Medina was the commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao prior his new designation.

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His unit played a key role during the Marawi siege in 2017. At the Philippine Navy anniversary in 2018, Naval Forces Western Mindanao was named as the Naval Operating Forces of the Year.

Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, who stepped down as the Philippine Navy’s chief of naval staff earlier this week, will be replacing Medina as the commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Commodore Loumer Bernabe of the Naval Forces Central is the new chief of naval staff.  /muf

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