DND places sacked Navy chief on floating status

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2017 02:04 PM | Updated as of Jan 19 2018 03:34 PM

MANILA - Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado will have no defined position or office in the Armed Forces after his relief as the Flag-Officer-in-Command of the Philippine Navy earlier this week, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

"Ang status niya dito siya sa office ni Chief of Staff, tigil siya diyan until his retirement in March, unless mabigyan pa siya ng isa pang position. But I doubt, kasi masyado ng maiksi ang time niya," Lorenzana told reporters in a chance interview.

Mercado is in the process of transferring his duties as Navy chief duties to acting Flag-Officer-in-Command Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.

"You have to understand yung mga circumstances behind reassignment niya so we take it as it is," said Guerrero.

On Wednesday, Lorenzana said he fired Mercado as Navy chief due to insubordination.

"As the Secretary of Defense, I have lost trust and confidence in his integrity and leadership," Lorenzana told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo. 

"I questioned his intention behind his fixation with one specific company for the combat management system (CMS) of the frigate acquisition project," he added. 

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he had no hand in Mercado's relief as he does not meddle with the internal affairs of the military and the police.