Author Topic: "Game of the Flag Officers"  (Read 30189 times)

adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2017, 02:29:07 PM »
That sinking feeling: The story behind Navy chief’s sudden fall
By: Nikko Dizon - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM December 28, 2017

The commander of the Philippine Navy was sacked on Dec. 18 in a move so abrupt that even the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, was surprised.

When word of it came, Guerrero assured the Navy chief, Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado, that there was “no directive” to fire him.

But less than an hour later, Guerrero texted Mercado to tell him that indeed he had been fired.

P15.5-B warship deal

Before that, word had been going around that Mercado would be sacked because of a dispute with officials at the Department of National Defense (DND) over the Navy’s P15.5-billion contract for warships.

Still, the transfer of command to Rear Adm. Robert Empedrad, who was sworn in on Dec. 19, came so abruptly it sent shock waves through the entire military.

A ranking Navy official, requesting anonymity, said the incident sent a “chilling message” to the military that anyone, even a flag officer in command (FOIC), can be relieved unceremoniously.

Mercado had supported the Navy project management team’s stand on various issues that came up against Hyundai Heavy Industries, the South Korean company that was awarded the warships contract.

A number of officers and other service members believed Mercado, in holding the line on the warship contract, was just protecting the Navy’s interest.

The DND, however, believed otherwise.

< Edited >

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adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2017, 03:29:33 PM »
The key thing that people are missing is that this whole episode showed that the PN was not of one-mind when it came to the Frigate project. This frackas isn't PN vs DND affair. It is PN faction vs PN faction -- both equally inexperienced in projects of this complexity and working within imperfect budgetary constraints. The DND made its call based on what it saw.

Quote
< Edited >

Hanwha dissolved

An Inquirer source said one reason why Mercado wanted to go with Tacticos Thales was the dissolution of the Hanwha Thales consortium in July 2016, way before the contract was signed with Hyundai.

Hyundai, however, wanted to use Hanwha Systems, the subcontractor that had replaced Hanwha Thales, for the job.

The source said that Lorenzana and Mercado met on Dec. 3 and the Navy chief assured the defense secretary that he was not delaying the warship program.

Lorenzana, the source said, told Mercado that he did not sign the letter to Mr. Duterte.

In that letter, Lorenzana said he formed a steering committee headed by Defense Undersecretary for Finance and Materiel Raymundo Elefante to resolve the issue with the Navy’s project management team.

As head of the steering committee, Elefante had the “authority to resolve the technical issues” between the Navy and Hyundai, according to the leaked letter.

It also said the committee’s resolution “affirmed” Hyundai’s selection of the combat management system provider.

And it stated that the committee’s findings and recommendation would be part of the contract between the Navy and Hyundai.

Curiously, the letter also said that Mercado had told  the DND through a letter “to proceed without haste on the execution of the project as per contract agreement,” which meant the former Navy chief had already agreed to what the DND wanted.

< Edited >

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mayk

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 08:46:29 PM »
Let's face it. Every general and flag officer wants to leave some legacy. To the point of having their names in plaques put in buildings that are not new but just renovated. (Renovated during the tenure of GEN/ADM ...). We attach accomplishments to personalities that we are looking for our own Rickover. I would say that we already had such noteworthy leaders like Commo. Protacio and MGen Martir. What is important is that the AFP will always be there as long as this is still the Republic of the Philippines and slowly the transformation is happening from ahort term tenure attached projects to long term roadmaps. What the AFP and DND needs to asure is that doctrines are preserved and the roadmap keeps on getting recalibrated and survives whoever sits as SND and CSAFP. They can set priorities but long term plans should not reset everytime leadership changes.

adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 01:44:40 AM »
Congress is now in the mix


PAG-ISIPAN NG MABUTI BAGO PUMIRMA

https://www.facebook.com/Rep.AlejanoMagdalo/photos/a.492731634186147.1073741828.490802617712382/1407001932759108/?type=3&theater&ifg=1

Magdalo to Navy’s Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee of the Frigate Acquisition Project: Better think twice before affixing signatures on the Hyundai’s Frigate Design

MAGDALO Partylist Representative Gary C. Alejano is making a brotherly advise to members of the Navy’s Technical and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) involved in the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) to be very careful in affixing their signatures to the Frigate Design of the winning bidder Hyundai Heavy Industries. "It is crucial that technical specifications as stated in the Frigate Contract Agreement are faithfully complied with by Hyundai. The Design (together with two purchase orders) is the output of the Critical Design and Review Phase, the first phase of the ten phases, of the project which is akin to a blueprint of a building," he stressed.

Alejano said that Frigate Design is important because once it is approved and accepted by the end-user, which is the Philippine Navy, actual cutting of steel would commence. "If the design is non-compliant to the technical specifications, then the Navy would have inferior and questionable frigates later on. Should problems arise in the future the people involved in the project could be investigated and legally held liable," the former Marine officer reminded.

The two frigates cost the Filipino taxpayers Php 15.5 billion of the AFP Modernization Program.

It can be recalled that Rep. Alejano raised an alarm on the highly unusual relief of Vice Admiral Mercado as Navy’s Flag Officer-In-Command two weeks ago which he suspected has something to do with the controversial Frigate Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy. He stated that he will file a resolution to investigate the controversy.

====


adroth

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No restlessness in the Navy: AFP chief
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2018, 02:28:15 PM »
No restlessness in the Navy: AFP chief
By VICTOR REYES
January 10, 2018

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/news/no-restlessness-navy-afp-chief

ARMED Forces chief Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero yesterday sought to dismiss reports of restiveness in the Navy due to last month’s unceremonious relief of Vice Adm. Ronaldo Joseph Mercado as Navy chief.

Interviewed after a joint DND-AFP New Year’s call in Camp Aguinaldo, Guerrero said Navy officials are not reporting any problem in the 30,000-strong Navy.

“Restlessness? I do not see any restlessness in the Navy,” said Guerrero. It was Guerrero who implemented Mercado’s relief on December 19.

The Navy is now headed in an acting capacity by Rear Adm. Robert Empedrad, AFP deputy chief of staff for reservists and retirees affairs.

< Edited >

adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2018, 01:32:18 PM »
Palace had special interest in Navy’s selection of weapons system supplier

Quote
The Palace, the Department of National Defense (DND), and the Navy discussed the issue hounding the combat management systems (CMS) of the Navy’s frigate program.

It included a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte from the Navy explaining why it preferred Tacticos CMS of Thales Nederlands, Inc. over Hanwha Thales (HTC) for the CMS of the frigates.

Palace preference for Hanwha over Tacticos Thales

Quote
The letter from Go, written in broken English, claimed that while “Thales CMS,” apparently referring to Tacticos CMS, has “many sales records of CMS in many countries including Korea… the End-Users of the many countries has (sic) been suffering from their poor supports (sic) of logistics services and upgrade or modernization of their outdated CMS because they are putting all non-recurring/ development costs for the logistics and upgrade to the foreign customer only due to small number of ships in their home countries with high margin as their profits policy.”

The letter said that the Korean Navy was set to “discard” Thales from its “OEM [original equipment manufacturer] portfolios” because of the above-stated reason.

It also said that “Hanwha will provide Philippines Navy (sic) the most economic and effective logistics and upgrade etc. (almost free riding or on boarding) after delivery or (sic) brand new CMS with the logistic supports based on large number of government funding supports.”

Moreover, Hanwha was prepared to provide “real time 24 hours logistics support in every fleet of Korean (N)avy and will establish a team for Philippines Navy in their fleet with real time network with Korean teams.”

Navy insists on Tacticos Thales

Quote
the FAP PMT “preferred Tacticos CMS over Naval Shield ICMS” because Tacticos CMS “is one of the leading Combat Management Systems in the world considering that it is being used by 23 foreign countries to over 172 ships.”

Tacticos CMS is also compatible with the TDL 16 requirement of the AFP, while “Hanwha’s Naval Shield ICMS’ compatibility with TDL 16 is still under development phase but could not be operational by 2019

Quote
In view of the foregoing, the Frigate Acquisition Project PMT sustains its preference on Tacticos of Thales Nederlands as the CMS for the two (2) PN Frigates...

adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2018, 02:07:43 PM »
Every problem has a beginning. For folks who don't remember . . .

Quote
Wanted: Consultant for PH Navy's P18.9-B warships deal
The chosen consultant is expected to lend technical expertise, including inputs on seaworthiness and design

Carmela Fonbuena
@carmelafonbuena
Published 4:55 PM, January 21, 2014
Updated 4:55 PM, January 21, 2014

https://www.rappler.com/nation/48521-philippines-frigates-consultants

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) set aside P25 million to allow the Philippine Navy to hire a consultancy firm that will assist in finalizing the technical specifications of the much-awaited two warships it is acquiring for P18.9 billion.

"The consultant will classify seaworthiness and design...They will provide technical expertise. I'm not saying we do not have it. Pero hindi naman kami nagmamayabang that we know everything," said Commodore Ronald Mercado of the DND Bids and Awards Committee-Technical Working Group (BAC-TWG).

< Edited >

"The frigates for bidding are brand new ones. Included in the package are capabilities like having primary and secondary guns, missile system, anti-submarine warfare weapon system, and electronic warfare system," explained Navy spokesman Lt Cmdr Gregory Fabic.

< Edited >

The consultancy contract will not be bidded out. Navy chief Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano will be the approving authority.

"We will have to look first at consultants in the region who have proven experience. I have some people already doing the research. We have to look for a proven expert. And when we've identified it, we have to do some market research," Mercado added.

The Navy-BAC on Monday, January 20, sought an issuance by the DND of a special authority to hire the consultants for P25 million. It was approved by Defense undersecretary for finance Fernando Manalo.

< Edited >

The Navy is set to proceed with the workshops with the qualified bidders to prepare for the second stage of bidding. The Navy is currently using reservists for help in the bidding process.

Mercado said they need the consultants by February before the BAC can proceed to the more crucial second stage of the bidding process, when the technical aspects and the financial proposals will be discussed.

The consultants will help determine the ship design and the weapons system that the Navy can require of the bidders, considering the funding involved. – Rappler.com

slayermoonlight

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 06:27:04 PM »
the next question is:  can we afford (time) to hardball with HHI?

And if HHI will be firm of its non-fully compliant alternative design, can we afford to cancel the deal with HHI? 


adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2018, 10:03:06 AM »
Congress is now in the mix


PAG-ISIPAN NG MABUTI BAGO PUMIRMA

https://www.facebook.com/Rep.AlejanoMagdalo/photos/a.492731634186147.1073741828.490802617712382/1407001932759108/?type=3&theater&ifg=1

Magdalo to Navy’s Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee of the Frigate Acquisition Project: Better think twice before affixing signatures on the Hyundai’s Frigate Design

MAGDALO Partylist Representative Gary C. Alejano is making a brotherly advise to members of the Navy’s Technical and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) involved in the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) to be very careful in affixing their signatures to the Frigate Design of the winning bidder Hyundai Heavy Industries. "It is crucial that technical specifications as stated in the Frigate Contract Agreement are faithfully complied with by Hyundai. The Design (together with two purchase orders) is the output of the Critical Design and Review Phase, the first phase of the ten phases, of the project which is akin to a blueprint of a building," he stressed.

Alejano said that Frigate Design is important because once it is approved and accepted by the end-user, which is the Philippine Navy, actual cutting of steel would commence. "If the design is non-compliant to the technical specifications, then the Navy would have inferior and questionable frigates later on. Should problems arise in the future the people involved in the project could be investigated and legally held liable," the former Marine officer reminded.

The two frigates cost the Filipino taxpayers Php 15.5 billion of the AFP Modernization Program.

It can be recalled that Rep. Alejano raised an alarm on the highly unusual relief of Vice Admiral Mercado as Navy’s Flag Officer-In-Command two weeks ago which he suspected has something to do with the controversial Frigate Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy. He stated that he will file a resolution to investigate the controversy.

====



https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1547259598693215/

adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2018, 10:06:18 AM »
Plot thickens further

Duterte: Prove Go meddled in acquisition of warships and I’ll fire him
By: Nestor Corrales - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ INQUIRER.net / 08:27 PM January 16, 2018
Rodrigo Duterte - 16 Jan 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the inauguration of the new Communications, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems Development Project at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (PATMC) in Pasay City on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo from an RTVM video)

President Rodrigo Duterte will fire special assistant to the president Christopher “Bong” Go if the allegations that he intervened in the P15.5-billion project of the government to acquire warships for the Philippine Navy could be proven true.

But Duterte defended Go as he slammed a report on Go, saying it was “pregnant with falsity.”

“Who gave you idea he can intervene?” Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview in Pasay City. “Where is his signature? Where is your statement? And where is your… even a point of reference?”

< Edited >

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/960913/rodrigo-duterte-bong-go-navy-frigates-intervention#ixzz54P4quKO0
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====

Bong Go denies hand in Navy frigate procurement
Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) - January 16, 2018 - 6:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go on Tuesday denied that he dipped his hands into the Philippine Navy's procurement of frigates as part of the military's modernization program.

In a statement, Go denied that he had information or knowledge of the procurement of the combat management system of the Navy for its ships. He added that he had not intervened in the procurement of the Department of National Defense of the computer system for its frigates.

"I have not participated nor intervened, directly or indirectly, in the transactions of DND. Clarification on the issues should be addressed to SND Lorenzana," Go said, referring to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

< Edited >

Read more at http://beta.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/16/1778377/bong-go-denies-hand-navy-frigate-procurement#xAgWQLauf4FHslMj.99
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 12:47:01 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2018, 02:40:55 PM »
Why allow fine-print provisions like this in the first place?

< Edited >

Fine-print provisions

He said the “maker’s list” had provisions written in fine print at the bottom, stating “the final selection of the maker to be shipbuilder’s sole right as long as the equipment/system shall fulfill the owner’s requirements in building specifications and other design and build aspects.”

That document allegedly bore the signatures of only two Koreans. This provision supposedly allowed HHI to overrule the Navy’s preferences.

“In my investigation, HHI employed the strategy called ‘bait and switch,’ which means the contractor baits the buyer or client by offering superior systems or products and once he bags the contract he will find means to go around and eventually choose the lesser or inferior and thus cheaper systems or products to maximize profits,” Alejano said.

“In other words, you will be lured into the trap first and once you’re inside, there’s no escaping,” he added.

When top Navy officers learned that they have been had, Alejano said, they drew their version of the maker’s list stating the Navy had the right to choose the makers for its warships’ operational requirements.

But the Korean contractor disregarded the Navy’s version, saying the contract had already been signed (on Oct. 24, 2016) and the government had already made a 15-percent down payment.

< Edited >

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/960975/magdalo-lawmaker-urges-govt-scrap-order-for-2-warships#ixzz54QAWxcu0
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« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 02:50:22 PM by adroth »

slayermoonlight

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2018, 05:00:05 PM »
in short, we were steamrolled by HHI like noobs.

El_Filibusterismo1978

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2018, 05:36:48 PM »
product of inexperienced..

i say continue with the contract BUT there will be no follow-up orders..

slayermoonlight

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2018, 06:55:57 PM »
but I want my TACTICOS!!!! 

Invictus

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Re: "Game of the Flag Officers"
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2018, 07:58:59 PM »
Ex-Navy chief: Bong Go no hand in FAP
By Priam Nepomuceno  January 17, 2018, 6:31 pm

From VADM Mercado:

Quote
This morning, my attention was caught by the reports when I saw a piece of paper, a ‘post it’, with my name on it, about an instruction given to me by the Secretary of National Defense about the Frigate, and apparently because of that there were insinuations about Secretary Bong Go, and you know I just like to come out because, on my side when I was FOIC (flag officer in command), he never once, with so many times, we were together in many foreign navy ships, and there was never an instance, not once that he even asked me about the frigate, never, and kaya when I'm hearing  the news, well on my side only, he never intervened much more talk to me about these things

Quote
Let me rephrase Secretary Bong Go never directly mentioned to me anything about the Frigate or indirectly from another person, I never heard any other person mention the name of Secretary Bong Go in relation to the frigates, walang ganun
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