The man behind the deployment of female sailors who now serve as the voice of the Philippines in asserting sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea is now the commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Admiral Ronnie Gil L. Gavan was chosen by President Marcos as the 30th PCG commandant and was installed into his new position in a turnover ceremony at the Coast Guard National Headquarters, Port Area, Manila on Thursday, Oct, 19, according to Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.
Gavan replaced Admiral Artemio M Abu who reached the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Thursday after over 35 years in the uniformed service
With Abu’s retirement, Bautista said Gavan was promoted to the rank of Coast Guard Admiral.
A member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Maalab Class of 1993, Gavan served as the PCG’s Deputy Commandant for Administration before assuming the top PCG leadership.
He was instrumental in training and capacity-building female Coast Guardians as radio operators dubbed “Angels of the Sea” on board PCG vessels patrolling the West Philippine Sea (WPS)
In his speech, Bautista expressed his trust and confidence that Gavan would efficiently steer the PCG in implementing the “White Hull Approach” towards upholding maritime security and safety in the country’s exclusive economic zones
“Admiral Art was hailed for his innate peace mindset that steered the country away from any deterioration in the volatile situation at the West Philippine Sea,” said Bautista.
“My belief that Vice Admiral Ronnie Gavan will do the same is anchored on his record of shifting to the ‘White Hull Approach’ when securing our maritime borders and his introduction of female radio operators, called ‘Angels of the Sea,’ as a way of diffusing tension during sea conflict,” he added.
Bautista said Gavan was chosen by President Marcos among the five senior PCG officials he recommended.
“I expect the PCG to provide steadfast service and dedication to duty during times of calamity; uphold our country’s maritime security and promote our maritime rights; do its part in fighting smuggling; protect our marine environment; and secure the safety of our fishermen when pursuing their means of livelihood,” said Bautista.
“The Department of Transportation firmly stands with you in your plans and efforts to improve, expand, and modernize your capabilities and services so you can level up your efforts at securing the welfare of our people and our nation,” he added.
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