List of AFP Chiefs of Staff

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AFP Chief of Staff of the Philippines
General Gregorio Pio Catapang[1]
Appointer President of the Philippines
Inaugural holder Artemio Ricarte (Revolutionary)
Jose Delos Reyes (AFP)
Formation December 21, 1935
Website Philippine Armed Forces

The following is the list of Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Armed Forces of the Philippines were created as a result of the December 21, 1935 National Defense Act, Commonwealth Act No. 1.[2] However, the origin of the organization can be traced back to the establishment of the Philippine Constabulary, armed Filipino forces organized in 1901 by the United States to combat the Philippine Revolutionary Forces then led by General Emilio Aguinaldo.

Chiefs of Staff of the AFP[edit]

General Alfredo M. Santos was the 8th Chief of Staff of the Third Republic under President Diosdado Macapagal and the first four-star general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (1962 to 1965)
General Rigoberto Atienza served as the 9th Chief of Staff of the Third Republic under President Diosdado Macapagal.
General Romeo Espino is the longest serving Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, from 1971 - 1980.
General Fabian Ver is the second most powerful man during the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.
General Hermogenes Esperon (left, in green) served as AFP Chief-of-Staff from July 2006 until May 2008. He ran for Congress in the 2010 general elections but lost.
Emmanuel T. Bautista served as AFP Chief-of-Staff from January 2013 until July 2014.
First Republic
Chief-of-Staff Term Military Branch Comments
General Artemio Ricarte March 22, 1897-January 22, 1899 RA (Revolutionary Army) Ricarte was elected Captain-General by the Tejeros Convention.
General Antonio Luna January 22, 1899-June 5, 1899 RA Luna was assassinated by General Aguinaldo's men.
General Emilio Aguinaldo June 5, 1899-March 23, 1901 PRA Aguinaldo personally took charge after General Antonio Luna's assassination.
Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935-1946)
Major General Jose Delos Reyes December 15, 1935-May 6, 1936 Philippine Army
Major General Paulino Santos May 6-December 31, 1936 Philippine Army
General Douglas MacArthur United States Armed Forces in the Far East MacArthur served in Acting Capacity.
Major General Basilio Valdez Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Second Republic (Japanese Occupation)[3]
Third Republic (1946-1971)
Major General Rafael Jalandoni Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Jalandoni was the first Chief of Staff from the Philippine Constabulary
Major General Mariano Castañeda Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Major General Calixto Duque Philippine Army
Lieutenant General Jesus Vargas 1953-1956 Philippine Army Vargas is the first military officer to be promoted to Lieutenant General by President Ramon Magsaysay.
Lieutenant General Alfonso Arellano Philippine Army
Lieutenant General Manuel Cabal Philippine Constabulary
Lieutenant General Pelagio Cruz December 1961-September 1, 1962 Philippine Air Force Cruz is the first Chief of Staff of the AFP from the Philippine Air Force.
General Alfredo Santos September 1, 1962-July 13, 1965 Philippine Army Santos was the first Filipino four-star general in history, promoted by President Diosdado Macapagal. The first military officer to become chief of staff that came from the ROTC program of the government.
General Rigoberto Atienza Philippine Army
General Ernesto Mata Philippine Army During the Marcos regime, especially during its second term, he served as the Secretary of National Defense.
General Victor Osias Philippine Air Force
General Segundo Velasco Philippine Army
General Manuel T. Yan 1968-1972 Philippine Constabulary Yan served as the youngest chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the age of 48. Prior to that, he was the chief of the Philippine Constabulary. He currently holds the record for longest continuous government service from 1937- 2001 or 64 years of service.
Third & Fourth Republic (1971-1986)
General Romeo Espino 1972-1981 Philippine Army Espino served as the Commanding General of the Philippine Army before appointed to become the top military man. Espino is the longest-serving Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for nine years, especially during the martial law regime. A second product of the ROTC. During his term, he was fair in administering the military, unlike his successor, General Fabian Ver.
General Fabian Ver 1981-1986 Philippine Constabulary Ver is considered a loyalist and the second most powerful man in the country next to President Ferdinand Marcos in the later years of his authoritarian regime, replacing then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, who held the status since 1972 when Marcos named him as martial law administrator upon the imposition of martial law. Ver, in fact, was the most powerful military officer at that time for, aside from being the top military man, he is also the commander of the Presidential Security Command and the director-general of NISA, the Marcos regime's secret police. The third military officer appointed as chief of staff that came from ROTC. During his term, he was known for his favoritism especially in the promotion of officers.
Fifth Republic (1986- Present)
General Fidel V. Ramos 1986-1988 Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Ramos then, before becoming the chief of the now defunct Philippine Constabulary on 1972, he was the commander of Philippine Army's 3rd Division in Cebu. On the 1980's he was promoted into vice-chief of staff with the rank of lieutenant general but remained as PC chief. After the EDSA revolt that ousted Marcos his cousin from power, he became the AFP chief. Later after retiring as AFP chief of staff during the term of President Corazon Aquino served as Secretary of National Defense and was elected President of the Philippines in 1992 and served until 1998.
General Renato De Villa 1988-1991 Philippine Constabulary Prior to becoming chief of staff, on 1986, De Villa was named to be the chief of the Philippine Constabulary (now defunct), then an AFP major service acting as the country's police force while he was also named to be AFP vice-chief of staff with the rank of three-star general. Upon retirement, De Villa served as Secretary of National Defense when he retired in 1991 and ran for president but lost to Joseph Estrada and Executive Secretary under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
General Rodolfo Biazon 1991 Philippine Marine Corps Biazon served in the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives after his retirement as AFP chief of staff in 1991. He is the first and only Chief of Staff from the PMC. Prior to that, he served as the commander of the AFP NCR Defense Command on 1988 and Commandant of the

Philippine Marine Corps on 1987. He had also served as the superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy on 1986.

General Lisandro Abadia 1991-April 12, 1994 Philippine Army
General Arturo Enrile April 12, 1994-November 28, 1996 Philippine Army Enrile later served as Secretary of the DOTC under President Fidel Ramos.
General Arnulfo Acedera Philippine Air Force Second AFP chief of staff came from the Philippine Air Force
General Clemente Mariano Philippine Army
General Joselino Nazareno 1998-2000 Philippine Army Later served as Ambassador to Pakistan
General Angelo Reyes 2000-2001 Philippine Army Reyes later served as Secretary of National Defense, Secretary of DILG, Secretary of DENR, and Secretary of DOE under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
General Diomedio Villanueva Philippine Army
General Roy Cimatu Philippine Army Cimatu later served as Special Envoy to the Middle East.
General Benjamin Defensor Philippine Air Force The third AFP chief of staff from the Philippine Air Force.
General Dionisio Santiago Philippine Army Later served as the director-general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
General Narciso Abaya Philippine Army
General Efren Abu November 3, 2004 – August 17, 2005 Philippine Army
General Generoso Senga August 17, 2005 – July 22, 2006 Philippine Army
General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. July 22, 2006-May 12, 2008 Philippine Army Esperon later served as Presidential Adviser on Peace Process under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
General Alexander Yano May 12, 2008-May 1, 2009 Philippine Army Yano was the first general to be born in Mindanao and later served as our country's Ambassador to Brunei.
General Victor Ibrado May 1, 2009-February 2010 Philippine Army
General Delfin N. Bangit February 2010-June 2010 Philippine Army
Lieutenant General Nestor Ochoa June 2010 Philippine Army Ochoa served as AFP Chief-of-Staff in Acting Capacity.
General Ricardo David June 30, 2010-March 8, 2011 Philippine Army David was later served as Bureau of Immigration Commissioner under President Benigno Aquino III.
General Eduardo Oban Jr. March 8, 2011-December 12, 2011 Philippine Air Force
General Jessie Dellosa December 12, 2011-January 17, 2013 Philippine Army
General Emmanuel T. Bautista January 17, 2013-July 18, 2014 Philippine Army
General Gregorio Pio Catapang July 18, 2014-present Philippine Army


  1. ^
  2. ^ COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 1: The National Defense Act, Chanrobles law library, December 21, 1935, retrieved 2008-10-24 
  3. ^ During the Japanese Occupation, the Philippine military power is in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army.

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