MANILA- Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo formally assumed Monday the leadership of the Philippine Navy.
Bacordo replaced Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad as the Navy's Flag Officer-in-Command in a change-of-command ceremony led by President Rodrigo Duterte.
"It is my hope that you will become the embodiment of valor as you lead the Navy," the President told Bacordo.
Duterte assured the Navy of his support in enhancing the military arm's defense capabilities.
"This administration will always assist in enhancing the capabilities of the men and women of the Philippine Navy as we pursue a more peaceful country for all," he said.
While the President is usually known to give off the cuff remarks during his speeches, he simply read his prepared statement during the ceremony.
Bacordo, meanwhile, encouraged the Navy to keep a "modern mindset" as he vowed to implement modernization programs.
"It is not the modern ships, tanks, aircraft that will bring the Philippine Navy to the modern era. It is the Philippine Navy personnel armed with the modern mindsets that will," he said.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy "Hinirang" Class of 1987, Bacordo was appointed commander of the Philippine Fleet in April 2019 before becoming Navy chief.