Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

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Chief of Staff of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines
General Eduardo Año[1]

since December 7, 2016
Reports to Secretary of National Defense
President of the Philippines
Appointer The President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments
Term length Mandatory retirement at age 56.[2]
Inaugural holder Artemio Ricarte (Revolutionary)
Jose Delos Reyes (AFP)
Formation December 21, 1935 (Official)
March 22, 1897 (Revolutionary)
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.[3] 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.

The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, usually the only soldier holding a rank of four-star general/admiral is the head of all military forces of the Philippines including all service branches under its command. Its direct equivalent in the United States Armed Forces is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Unlike his/her United States counterpart which is merely supervisory, the AFP Chief of Staff has operational control over all military personnel of the Armed Forces.

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.
Hernando Iriberri served as AFP Chief-of-Staff from July 2015 until April 2016.
Glorioso Miranda served as Acting AFP Chief-of-Staff from April 2015 until July 2016.
First Republic (1899-1901)
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 RA 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 4, 1936 – December 31, 1938 Philippine Army
General of the Army / Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur July 26, 1941 – June 30, 1946 United States Armed Forces in the Far East MacArthur served in Acting Capacity.
Major General Basilio Valdez January 1, 1939 – November 7, 1945 Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Second Republic (Japanese Occupation)[4]
Third Republic (1946-1971)
Major General Rafael Jalandoni December 21, 1945 – December 20, 1948 Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Jalandoni was the first Chief of Staff from the Philippine Constabulary
Major General Mariano Castañeda December 21, 1948 – May 28, 1951 Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Major General Calixto Duque June 2, 1951 – December 30, 1953 Philippine Army
Lieutenant General Jesus Vargas December 31, 1953 – December 29, 1956 Philippine Army Vargas is the first military officer to be promoted to Lieutenant General by President Ramon Magsaysay.
Lieutenant General Alfonso Arellano December 29, 1956 – December 31, 1958 Philippine Army
Lieutenant General Manuel Cabal January 1, 1959 – December 30, 1961 Philippine Constabulary
Lieutenant General Pelagio Cruz December 31, 1961 – August 31, 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 12, 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 July 13, 1965 – January 22, 1966 Philippine Army
General Ernesto Mata January 22, 1966 – January 21, 1967 Philippine Army During the Marcos regime, especially during its second term, he served as the Secretary of National Defense.
General Victor Osias January 21, 1967 – August 15, 1967 Philippine Air Force
General Segundo Velasco August 16, 1967 – May 27, 1968 Philippine Army
General Manuel T. Yan May 28, 1968 – January 15, 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 January 15, 1972 – August 15, 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 August 15, 1981 – October 24, 1984; December 2, 1985 – February 25, 1986 Philippine Constabulary Ver was 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 Minister 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 was 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 October 24, 1984 – December 2, 1985; February 25, 1986 – January 25, 1988 Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Army
Ramos then, before becoming the chief of the now defunct Philippine Constabulary in 1972, he was the commander of Philippine Army's 3rd Division in Cebu. On the 1980s 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 January 25, 1988 – January 23, 1991 Philippine Constabulary Prior to becoming chief of staff, in 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 January 24, 1991 – April 12, 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 in 1988 and Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps in 1987. He had also served as the superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy in 1986.
General Lisandro Abadia April 12, 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 November 28, 1996 – December 31, 1997 Philippine Air Force Second chief of staff to come from the Philippine Air Force
General Clemente Mariano January 1, 1998 – July 1, 1998 Philippine Army
General Joselino Nazareno July 1, 1998 – July 8, 1999 Philippine Army Later served as Ambassador to Pakistan
General Angelo Reyes July 8, 1999 – March 17, 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 March 17, 2001 – May 18, 2002 Philippine Army
General Roy Cimatu May 18, 2002 – September 10, 2002 Philippine Army Cimatu later served as Special Envoy to the Middle East.
General Benjamin Defensor Jr. September 10, 2002 – November 28, 2002 Philippine Air Force The third AFP chief of staff from the Philippine Air Force.
General Dionisio Santiago November 28, 2002 – April 8, 2003 Philippine Army Later served as the director-general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
General Narciso Abaya April 8, 2003 – October 29, 2004 Philippine Army
General Efren Abu October 29, 2004 – August 15, 2005 Philippine Army
General Generoso Senga August 15, 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 – March 10, 2010 Philippine Army
General Delfin N. Bangit March 10, 2010 – June 22, 2010 Philippine Army
Lieutenant General Nestor Ochoa June 22, 2010 – July 2, 2010 Philippine Army Ochoa served as AFP Chief-of-Staff in Acting Capacity.
General Ricardo David July 2, 2010 – March 7, 2011 Philippine Army David later served as Bureau of Immigration Commissioner under President Benigno Aquino III.
General Eduardo Oban Jr. March 7, 2011 – December 12, 2011 Philippine Air Force
General Jessie Dellosa December 12, 2011 – January 20, 2013 Philippine Army
General Emmanuel T. Bautista January 20, 2013 – July 18, 2014 Philippine Army
General Gregorio Pio Catapang July 18, 2014 – July 10, 2015 Philippine Army Catapang is the only RAM member to become Chief of Staff. Later served as Bases Conversion Development Agency Board Member
General Hernando Delfin Carmelo A. Iriberri July 10, 2015 – April 22, 2016 Philippine Army 1st from Class 1983 to be come AFP Chief.[1]
Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda April 22, 2016 – July 1, 2016 Philippine Army Serves in an acting capacity.[2]
General Ricardo Visaya July 1, 2016 – December 7, 2016 Philippine Army [5]
General Eduardo Año December 7, 2016 – present Philippine Army 3rd among the classmates in Class 1983[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Rebel hunter Año is new AFP chief". Rappler. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Gen. Glorioso Miranda named as acting AFP chief". CNN Philippines. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  3. ^ COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 1: The National Defense Act, Chanrobles law library, December 21, 1935, retrieved 2008-10-24 
  4. ^ During the Japanese Occupation, the Philippine military power is in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army.
  5. ^ "Duterte leads AFP change of command rites". Sun.Star Manila. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 

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