Duterte picks outgoing Air Force chief to head gov't oil exploration corporation
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen outgoing Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief Lieutenant General Rozzano Briguez as the new head of the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC).
Duterte made the announcement during a speech at the PAF change of command ceremony on Thursday, January 16, as he congratulated Briguez for a "job well done" in leading the country's air force.
"Now is a good as any other time to tell you that from here, he will be heading an office – a critical one. I fired the – for corruption, pinalitan ko (I replaced him) and he's going to head the exploration division of the Philippine National Oil Company," Duterte said on Thursday.
Briguez, who sat onstage next to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, smiled and applauded.
Briguez, Duterte's latest military appointment, will replace former PNOC-EC chief executive officer Pedro Aquino Jr who was relieved of his post last October. Duterte earlier asked Aquino to submit his resignation due to "loss of confidence."
Aquino was sacked for allegedly approving prematurely a deal with a Russian company.
Briguez had been described as a highly-regarded officer and "one of the intellectuals" of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986. He was also chief of the Western Command based in Palawan, the unit responsible for protecting the country's territories in the West Philippine Sea.
As head of PNOC-EC, among the major issues Briguez will face is steering the company in its participation in a memorandum of understanding with China to conduct joint exploration for oil and gas in the West Philippine Sea. – Rappler.com