Rear Admiral Adeluis Bordado is banking on the principles of “continuity” and “change” to represent the direction of his leadership as the 39th Flag-Officer-In-Command of the Philippine Navy (PN).
Bordado took over the helm of the Philippine Navy in a change of command on Tuesday afternoon, June 8, at the PN Headquarters on Roxas Boulevard in Manila. It was presided by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, which also served as the retirement honor for his predecessor, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo.
Bordado is a Camarines Sur native who graduated Top 4 of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Maringal” Class of 1988.
He has expertise in operations, intelligence, information technology, budget, planning, education and training. He held key positions in the Navy prior to being the Flag Officer in Command including as the Chief of Naval Staff, commander of the AFP Education, Training and Doctrine Command; commander of Naval Installation Command; commander of Naval Forces Southern Luzon; and commander of the Sealift Amphibious Force of the Philippine Fleet.
“As I embark on this journey as the Navy’s new Flag Officer in Command, i would like to emphasize the direction of my leadership. It is represented by two intertwined concept: continuity and change,” Bordado said in his assumption speech.
Meanwhile, Lorenzana thanked Bacordo “for excellently leading the Philippine Navy at a challenging yet opportune time” as he cited the challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the recent development in the West Philippine Sea.
Lorenzana also congratulated Bordado as he enjoined him to “build upon the foundations laid by your predecessors while imprinting your own brand of leadership… [and] be the strength at all times to our sailors and marines, civilian human resource, and their families as the Philippine Navy continues to navigate the volatile security environment.”
According to Bordado, he will sustain the initiatives started by his predecessors to sustain the organizational development and modernization path of the PN.
“To keep pushing forward, we will maintain stability when and where stability is needed by supporting continuity in initiatives, methods, and priority,” he said.
“And as we pursue continuity in our initiatives and in our growth as an organization, change will be an inevitable effect and end-point. Your Philippine Navy will be steady on course, full speed ahead,” he added.
Like Bacordo, Bordado said that he will pursue the modernization of the PN by having model platforms, modern systems, and equipping its personnel with “modern mindset.”
“Modern platforms require modern systems for their optimal utility and the people who will operate these platforms and manage the systems need a mindset that is always better. I will continue to implement priority programs on specialization, automation, and modernization,” he stated.
As part of its modernization program, the PN has decommissioned 23 legacy ships or World War 2-era vessels and one trainer aircraft.
Meanwhile, it acquired brand new assets including two multi-capable frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna; the first advanced fixed wing unmanned aircraft system; the Scan Eagle aircraft and the additional assets acquired through the AFP modernization fund among others.
Bordado said that he will also harness technology in building a resilient PN amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic is not yet over and we must take advantage of the situation and institute more innovations, modify policies, and establish new methods to anticipate the changes brought about by our modernization program,” he said.
“At the same time, we need to continue to manage with the effects of the pandemic to the PN’s operational tempo. I am expecting more automation in our system particularly in routine activities and communication,” he said.
Addressing security threats
Although Bordado failed to mention one of the biggest challenges of the PN, the West Philippine Sea (WPS), he emphasized the importance of continuous education and training for the PN personnel to boost their manpower as they seek solutions to complex organizational and threat-based problems in the security landscape.