New Western Command chief assumes post

MANILA, Philippines—Rear Admiral Alberto Carlos took leadership of the Western Command (Wescom)—the military unit protecting the Philippines’ interests in the Kalayaan Island Group (Spratly Islands) in the West Philippine Sea– in a ceremony on Friday (Jan. 21).

Carlos assumed leadership of Wescom after serving the Philippine Fleet, where he recently oversaw the deployment of naval ships and air assets for relief operations for survivors of Super Typhoon Odette (Rai). He succeeds Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez, who retired from the service after reaching the compulsory retirement age of 56.


Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino presided over the Wescom change of command ceremony in Palawan.

In his assumption remarks, Carlos said he honored the work of Enriquez at Wescom in the past 14 months, and vowed to continue the efforts of his predecessor. The new Wescom commander did not discuss the details of his plans in his new unit, saving it for another occasion, but said all actions under his tenure “shall center on promoting the interests of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”


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Carlos, a graduate of US Naval Academy Class of 1989, brings to Wescom over 30 years of experience as ship captain, naval aviator, and a logistics and procurement expert.

Enriquez, meanwhile, said he looked forward to retirement and spending time with his family but would readily answer the call of duty as a naval reservist officer.

It was during his watch when the AFP responded to Chinese militia vessels swarming Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef and China coast guard blocking and firing water cannon at a Philippine supply boat near Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

Enriquez also tried to push for the acquisition of more military assets that would boost maritime patrol capabilities and maritime domain awareness for his area of responsibility during his tenure.


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