Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado is supposed to retire in March 2018. Facebook/Philippine Navy

Navy chief relieved
( - December 19, 2017 - 6:52am

MANILA, Philippines (Second update 3:47 p.m.) — Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado was relieved from his post as the Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command on Tuesday. 

Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad was installed as acting Flag Officer-in-Command during the change of command ceremony held this morning. 
Empedrad, the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Retirees and Reservists Affairs, replaced Mercado who is supposed to retire in March 2018. 
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Edgar Arevalo said the reason for the change of command “will be explained in due time.”
Naval Public Affairs Office Director Capt. Lued Lincuna was also mum on Mercado’s relief.
“I am not privy with the decisions and/or other issues at hand hence I could not give you a definite answer,” he said in a message to reporters.
Mercado assumed leadership in November 2016, replacing Vice Admiral Caesar Taccad.

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