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.
After his retirement as Chief-of-Staff, General Angelo Reyes served in various posts under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's administration. Reyes served as Chief-of-Staff from 2000 until March 2001.
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
Military Branch
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
Luna was assassinated by General Aguinaldo's men.
June 5, 1899-March 23, 1901
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
Major General Paulino Santos
May 6-December 31, 1936
MacArthur served in Acting Capacity.
Major General Basilio Valdez
Second Republic (Japanese Occupation)[3]
Third Republic (1946-1971)
Major General Rafael Jalandoni
Jalandoni was the first Chief of Staff from the Philippine Constabulary
Major General Mariano Castañeda
Major General Calixto Duque
Lieutenant General Jesus Vargas
Vargas is the first military officer to be promoted to Lieutenant General by President Ramon Magsaysay.
Lieutenant General Alfonso Arellano
Lieutenant General Manuel Cabal
Lieutenant General Pelagio Cruz
December 1961-September 1, 1962
Cruz is the first Chief of Staff of the AFP from the Philippine Air Force.
September 1, 1962-July 13, 1965
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 Ernesto Mata
During the Marcos regime, especially during its second term, he served as the Secretary of National Defense.
General Victor Osias
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
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
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)
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.
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.
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.

1991-April 12, 1994
April 12, 1994-November 28, 1996
Enrile later served as Secretary of the DOTC under President Fidel Ramos.
Second AFP chief of staff came from the Philippine Air Force
Later served as Ambassador to Pakistan
General Angelo Reyes
Reyes later served as Secretary of National Defense, Secretary of DILG, Secretary of DENR, and Secretary of DOE under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
General Roy Cimatu
Cimatu later served as Special Envoy to the Middle East.
The third AFP chief of staff from the Philippine Air Force.
Later served as the director-general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
General Efren Abu
November 3, 2004 – August 17, 2005
August 17, 2005 – July 22, 2006
July 22, 2006-May 12, 2008
Esperon later served as Presidential Adviser on Peace Process under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
May 12, 2008-May 1, 2009
Yano was the first general to be born in Mindanao and later served as our country's Ambassador to Brunei.
May 1, 2009-February 2010
February 2010-June 2010
Lieutenant General Nestor Ochoa
June 2010
Ochoa served as AFP Chief-of-Staff in Acting Capacity.
June 30, 2010-March 8, 2011
David was later served as Bureau of Immigration Commissioner under President Benigno Aquino III.
March 8, 2011-December 12, 2011
December 12, 2011-January 17, 2013
January 17, 2013-July 18, 2014
July 18, 2014-present


  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.

External links[edit]