Latest News for Philippine Defense

Guerrero is new Customs chief, Lapeña transferred to TESDA

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Maritime Industry Authority administrator Rey Leonardo “Jagger” Guerrero as the new commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), replacing Gen. Isidro “Sid” Lapeña.

President Duterte transferred Lapeña to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as the new director-general.

“I know that you are happy there and you are contented, so I’ve heard, but the demands of public service and the need for honest men requires your presence there,” Duterte told Guerrero during his speech at the 117th Anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday held at the Ceremonial Area, PCG Headquarters in Port Area, Manila.

“General Lapeña will move to TESDA. I will promote you to a Cabinet member position,” he added.

“So Sid (Lapeña), the TESDA job… it could be messy at times. But I’m sure your training as a military man just like Jagger would augur well for the country,” Duterte also said, noting he expects the reshuffle to take effect as soon as possible.

President Duterte also ordered the freezing of all section department units of the BOC, up to the last official. “The commissioners are out; the department heads out,” he said.

“My orders to you, Jagger (Guerrero), is place them all in office. They are on floating status whoever. The outer periphery will be taken care of by the Coast Guard and maybe you can utilize military men. The excess those with no work… especially the women,” Duterte said.

“And I’m ordering the Coast Guard to provide the outer periphery and you might want to utilize some departmental… I don’t know… but I’ll talk to you and leave it to your discretion,” he added.

President Duterte reiterated how passionate he is in eradicating corruption in the administration and reminded those working in the government to be “content with what we have and work for the benefit of the entire Filipino nation.”

Meanwhile, President Duterte commended the PCG for its efforts in securing the nation’s maritime borders.

“The fulfillment of your mandate to enforce maritime law, protect our (marine) environment, and secure our maritime territories has contributed greatly in keeping our people safe from the dangers that may come at sea,” he said.

He said since 2016, the acquisition of PCG’s new equipment has enhanced its law enforcement capabilities.

However, he said the PCG’s success still relies on the dedication of its personnel.

“I urge the entire Philippine Coast Guard to build on its accomplishments and to continue its efforts in upholding our country’s maritime security,” Duterte said.

“More than ever, we need brave men and women like you in safeguarding our seas and shores, especially at this period when our resources are becoming crucial to the progress of our economy,” he added.

Duterte assured the PCG of his administration’s support in strengthening the maritime personnel’s capabilities by raising its standards through streamlined infrastructure and modernized equipment.#