BRP Ang Pangulo (AT-25)
|Namesake:||Ang Pangulo is the Filipino equivalent of "The President".|
|Builder:||Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries|
|Laid down:||July 16, 1958|
|Launched:||October 16, 1958|
|Commissioned:||March 7, 1959|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Ang Pangulo class|
|Displacement:||2,200 Tons (Full Load)|
|Length:||254 ft (77 m)|
|Beam:||42.7 ft (13.0 m) (folded)|
|Draft:||19.5 ft (5.9 m)|
|Installed power:||5,000 hp (3,700 kW)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Mitsui-Burmeister & Wain DE642/VBF75|
|Speed:||18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) (maximum), 15 knots (sustained)|
|Range:||6,900 nmi (12,800 km; 7,900 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Capacity:||44 yacht guests|
|Crew:||81 crew members|
|Aviation facilities:||Helipad at aft deck|
BRP Ang Pangulo (AT-25) is a presidential yacht that was acquired by the Philippine government in 1959. The yacht was first used by President Carlos P. Garcia for entertaining and over the years the yacht has known many famous guests including British ballerina Margot Fonteyn, actress Brooke Shields, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, concert pianist Van Cliburn and Cristina Ford, former wife of Henry Ford II, who was once chairman of Ford Motor Co.
RPS Lapu-Lapu (PY-77) was built in Japan as part of that country’s war reparations to the Philippines. At the initiative of President Carlos P. Garcia, Filipino naval engineers specifically designed the vessel for use as a presidential yacht. It was christened with its original name of RPS Lapu-Lapu, named after the Visayan datu, Lapu-Lapu, and commissioned into the Philippine Navy on March 7, 1959 as its flagship, a status it held until December 1961.
President Diosdado Macapagal in the following year ordered its conversion to a naval troop transport, renaming it RPS Roxas after the fifth President of the Philippines, Manuel Roxas, in rites led by his widow, Trinidad Roxas. This was the first time a navy ship had been named in honor of a president.
Later the vessel was renamed RPS The President and then BRP Ang Pangulo by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who restored its use as the presidential yacht, a status it has retained in all succeeding presidencies to the present day.
President Diosdado Macapagal himself used another, older, presidential yacht, the RPS Santa Maria, which he renamed RPS Pag-Asa, the name by which it had also been called a decade earlier under President Ramon Magsaysay. This ship was later decommissioned by the Navy in 1993.
It is in honor of these earlier periods under Presidents Magsaysay and Macapagal, and to emphasize its service to the people throughout the archipelago, that the BRP Ang Pangulo has been renamed BRP Pag-Asa by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
As it has throughout the Arroyo administration and over its 50-year life, the vessel, operated by Naval Taskforce “Sealion”, continues at the President’s instruction to carry out relief and medical missions all over the islands, aid in emergency search and rescue efforts, perform naval functions, promote tourism, culture and local products, as well as serve the presidency and the government.
BRP Ang Pangulo was one of 15 ocean-going vessels provided by the Government of Japan as part of war reparations to the Republic of the Philippines during the administration of President Carlos P. Garcia. First called Bow No. 77, it was designed as the Presidential Yacht by Filipino naval engineers and built at the Ishikawajima Dry-Docks in Tokyo.
Its keel was laid at the Harume Yard on July 16, 1958 and the vessel was launched on October 16 of that year. Sea trials were conducted under Lieutenant Commander Manuel Mandapat PN, its first commanding officer, on February 9 and 10, 1959. It was designated as the flagship of the Philippine Navy by President Garcia through an Executive Order on February 13, 1959, and delivered to the Philippine Government on February 28. It was christened RPS Lapu-Lapu (PY-77) and commissioned into the Philippine Navy on March 7. On April 2, the vessel arrived in Manila.
The first presidential engagement held aboard took place on April 7, 1959, and the ship’s first mission, a trade and cultural floating exposition with ports of call in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, was carried out from April 19 to June 4, 1959. The vessel has since been extensively used for relief, emergency search and rescue, patrol, auxiliary transport and command vessel purposes in addition to performing its duties to the presidency and the government. Many distinguished persons, including General Douglas MacArthur on his sentimental journey in 1961, and numerous heads of state and government, have been aboard as official guests.
Flagship status was revoked by President Diosdado Macapagal on December 31, 1961, and the vessel was renamed RPS Roxas (TP-71) on October 9, 1962, the first instance of a naval ship being named in honor of a Philippine president. It was renamed RPS The President (TP-777) by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on January 11, 1967 and renamed anew as BRP Ang Pangulo (TP-777) on July 1, 1971. Its hull number was altered to AT-25 by President Corazon C. Aquino on September 24, 1986. From 1998 to 2000, extensive refurbishment took place under President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.
On March 6, 2009, the eve of its 50th commissioning anniversary, the ship was renamed BRP Pag-Asa (AT-25) by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in fitting ceremonies celebrating an outstanding legacy of service to the Republic.
On December 14, 2011, during ceremonies coinciding commission 2 newly acquired navy ships and a helicopter, the ship was renamed again as BRP Ang Pangulo (AT-25) "to continue the heritage and carry the honor and prestige of the Philippine presidency.”
On May 15, 2016, presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to sell the ship. Duterte said that the proceeds would go to war veterans, improvement of hospital facilities, and salaries for doctors "so they would not have to leave the country for higher-paying jobs." However, after being told of the process for disposing of government and military assets by Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Restituto Padilla, Duterte said that he instead plans to convert the ship into a hospital ship in the event of a conflict.
Previous presidential yachts
It was a steam yacht built in Kinghorn, Scotland, in 1898. It was initially called the Cem but was later on renamed to The Amelia III after it was acquired by King Carlos of Portugal. In 1906, it was purchased by Henry Clay Pierce, and the name was changed to the Yacona. It was acquired by the United States Navy and commissioned in 1917. After it was decommissioned at Engineer Island, Manila, in 1921, it was transferred to the Philippine Insular Government and renamed Apo. In 1932, it was returned to the United States Federal Government.
The Cassandra, an oil-burning yacht, was built in 1908. It was acquired by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny and renamed the Casiana, after his first major oil well in Mexico. In 1936, the Commonwealth government acquired it for $50,000, and the ship arrived in Manila on November 25 of the same year. The name was changed to Banahaw, and it was made part of the Coast Guard service, although, primarily, it was reserved for use of the President and his family. On December 29, 1941, it sunk off Fort Mills wharf, Corregidor, by Japanese bombing.
It was a 190-foot Manzanita Class vessel built in New Jersey. Its keel was laid on October 1907; it was launched in May 1908, and was commissioned in August 1908 to the United States Lighthouse Service, which was merged with the Coast Guard in 1939. It was called the Orchid in line with the Lighthouse Service’s tradition of using flora as names for certain vessels (tenders, in particular), which was continued by the Coast Guard. With its sister ships, the Anemone, Sequoia, and the Tulip, the Orchid was transferred to the Philippines when it was decommissioned on December 1945. It was used by President Manuel Roxas.
The Apo II
It was an Admirable-class minesweeper laid down on November 24, 1943 by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation in Alabama. On March 16, 1944, it was launched, and on October 25, 1944, was commissioned as the USS Quest (AM-281). She received two battle stars during World War II. It was decommissioned on May 2, 1946 and struck from the Navy register on September 29, 1947. It was renamed Dalisay when it was transferred to the Republic of the Philippines on July 2, 1948. It was then renamed Pagasa, by President Ramon Magsaysay, and again to Santa Maria by President Carlos P. Garcia, after his hometown. In 1959, it was replaced by the new presidential yacht, the Lapu-Lapu, but continued to serve as the alternate yacht. With the designation TK-21, it was renamed three times by President Diosdado Macapagal as the Corregidor (1963), Pagasa (1964), and Incorruptible (1965). However, the name was reverted to Pag-Asa (1966) and finally changed to Mount Samat by President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1967. The ship was decommissioned on September 21, 1993 and sunk off Sangley Point.
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- "'Yacht can be floating hospital'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 23, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
- The Presidential Yachts | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines