THE Philippine Marine Corps has a new commander in the person of Marine Major General Nathaniel Casem.
Casem formally assumed as new commander replacing Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño who was placed under floating status by Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad due to misunderstanding regarding the issue of separation of Marines and Navy.
Earlier, it was reported that Parreño would opt for early retirement after calling for the separation of the Marines and Navy.
Parreño wanted the Marines to be considered as a Major Service just like the Philippine Army and Philippine Air Force.
For his part, Empedrad said instead of separation, they agreed that the budget of the Marines will be handed to the Corps but it will remain under the leadership of the Philippine Navy.
Empedrad and Parreño were both members of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986 while Casem is a member of PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.