Gregorio Pio Catapang

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Gregorio Pio Punzalan Catapang, Jr.

45th Chief of Staff
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
In office
July 18, 2014 – July 10, 2015
PresidentBenigno Aquino III
Preceded byEmmanuel T. Bautista
Succeeded byHernando Iriberri
Vice Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines
In office
Northern Luzon Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines
In office
Personal details
Born (1959-07-11) 11 July 1959 (age 59)
Manila, Philippines
ChildrenRally Catapang
Rev Catapang
Coup'dy Catapang
Ysa Catapang
Alma materPhilippine Military Academy
University of the Philippines
Claret School of Quezon City
Australian Defence College
AwardsPHL Distinguished Service Star BAR.png Distinguished Service Star
PHL Gold Cross.png Gold Cross Medal
PHL Outstanding Achievement Medal.PNG OAM
PHL Bronze Cross.gif Bronze Cross Medal
PHL Military Merit Medal.gif Military Merit Medal
Military service
AllegiancePhilippines Republic of the Philippines
Branch/servicePhilippine Army
Years of service1981 - 2015
RankGeneral General
UnitChief of Staff, AFP
Vice Chief of Staff, AFP
Northern Luzon Command
7 PA
703IBDE, 7ID, PA
28IB, 4ID, PA
Battles/warsCommunist insurgency in the Philippines
Islamic insurgency in the Philippines

Gregorio Pio Punzalan Catapang, Jr., CCLH (born 11 July 1959) is a retired Filipino general who served as the 45th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[1] He was the Vice Chief of Staff prior to his appointment as head of the armed forces. He was also the former head of the AFP Northern Luzon Command and 7th Infantry Division. He is part of the Philippine Military Academy Dimalupig Class of 1981. He was part of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement.[2][3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Gregorio "Greg" Pio P. Catapang Jr was born on July 11, 1959 in Manila. He is the second of four children of Gregorio Catapang Sr., a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Lourdes Punzalan, a CPA for the Department of Finance. He was named after two generals Gregorio del Pilar and Pio del Pilar. Early on in life his parents taught him the value of public service.

He attended Claret School of Quezon City highschool where he was voted as the high school class president. He entered the Philippine Military Academy in 1977 and graduated in 1981. Shortly after graduating from PMA he pursued graduate courses in the University of the Philippines and became a member of Upsilon Sigma Phi.

Military career[edit]

He moved on with his career carrying an excellent standard of performance, fine leadership, and a keen vision that resulted in accomplishments, both in garrison and field tours of duty. He held positions of major responsibility, such as: Commander of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army, Commander, 703 Infantry Brigade, of the 7ID, PA (now 10ID, PA) from September 6, 2010 to October 3, 2012; Battalion Commander of [[10th Infantry Division (Philippines)|28IB, 4ID, PA (now 10ID, PA) from November 20, 1999 to March 3, 2001; Battalion Commander of HHSBn, 4ID, PA from March 3, 2001 to December 17, 2001; Ac of S for Operations, G3, 8ID, PA from July 16, 2002 to February 1, 2003; ACUCS for CMO, U7, NOLCOM, AFP in February 19, 2003 to May 12, 2003; ACUCS for Operations, U3, NOLCOM, AFP from May 12, 2003 to October 24, 2005; and Chief of Unified Command Staff, NOLCOM, AFP on May 15, 2005 to Oct 24, 2005.

His professional military training include: Intel Officers Basic Course at the SITS, ISAFP in 1982; Infantry Officers Advance Course at Combat Arms School, TCPA in 1992; Command and General Staff Course at the Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Bonifacio in 2002; Australian and Military Familiarization Course and ADC Preparation Course at the Defence International Training Center in Australia, in 2005; Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College in 2006; Symposium on National Security and Strategy at NDU, PLA, China in 2007; and Change Management Workshop and Strategic Communications at the Australian Defense Coop Program in 2008.

Communist insurgency[edit]

Catapang was instrumental in the normalization of Northern and Central Luzon. As an Army captain he helped transform Porac from a hotbed of communist insurgency to peaceful municipality. As a General by the time he left as NOLCOM Command he was able to declare Central Luzon as peaceful and ready for further development[5]

Climate change[edit]

Catapang was recognized for significantly contributing to the relief operations in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009. At the time, he was assigned to the Office of Civil Defense.[6]

Chief of Staff[edit]

In his talk to men, Catapang urged the troops to strictly adhere to the AFP’s slogan of “Kawal DISIPLINADO, bawal ABUSADO, dapat ASINTADO”. These three key words are acronyms that spell out the dos and don'ts to be followed by every AFP personnel for them “to become proficient in fire and maneuver and be able to avoid collateral damage; be respectful of human rights, adhere to international humanitarian law and rule of law, as well as the rules of engagement of the IPSP Bayanihan.” [7]

Catapang vowed to continue modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, from being the hub of "flying coffin helicopters"[8] and an "Itali Yan" navy,[9] to the home of a strong and well-equipped Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy.

Catapang promised to enhance the anti-insurgency campaign, dubbed the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP), especially against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).[10]

Military service awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Catapang's nationalism further shows in his children's names:


  1. ^ Sinapit, Jaime (July 18, 2014). "New AFP chief Catapang vows to pursue transformation road map". Interaksyon. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Catapang appointed as next AFP chief". Interaksyon. Philippines News Agency. July 16, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  3. ^ Mangosing, Frances (May 21, 2014). "Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang is new AFP Vice Chief of Staff". Inquirer. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Fonbuena, Carmela (July 18, 2014). "A general's long wait: Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr". Rappler. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Dizon, Nikko (17 July 2014). "Climate change buff is new AFP chief of staff". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Calleja, Niña P. (25 July 2014). "AFP chief Catapang tells of cheating death on 'flying coffin'". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  9. ^ Fonbuena, Carmela (28 July 2014). "State of PH Navy modernization: 'Golden days will return'". Rappler. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  10. ^