Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Philippines)

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the highest-ranking military officer (except for the President of the Philippines, who holds the position of Commander-in-Chief equivalent to a five-star general) and the head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), including all service branches (Army, Air Force, NavyMarine Corps, Coast Guard—in Wartime Attached Service) under its command. The position is usually held by a four-star rank of General/Admiral and was formerly known as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines until June 2020. Its direct equivalent in the US Armed Forces is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Unlike its US counterpart, which is merely supervisory, the Chairman has complete operational control and is responsible for the overall operations of the AFP.[4]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Seal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.svg
Emblem of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Flag of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Philippines).svg
Flag of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, PA

since February 4, 2021
Reports toSecretary of National Defense
President of the Philippines
SeatCamp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
AppointerThe President
with the consent of the Commission on Appointments
Term lengthMandatory retirement at age 56,[1]
but can be extended by three years
Constituting instrumentRepublic Act No. 8186[2][3]
FormationMarch 22, 1897 (Revolutionary)
December 21, 1935 (Official)
First holderArtemio Ricarte (Revolutionary)
Jose Delos Reyes (AFP)
DeputyVice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Assistant)
Chief of the Joint Staff (Administrative and Organizational Duties)
WebsitePhilippine Armed Forces

The holder of this position is appointed by, as well as directly reports to the President of the Philippines under the Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution.[5] He executes the President's commands, tactics, operations, plannings, and strategies, as well as serves as the Immediate Adviser to the Secretary of National Defense. He also prescribes directions to all commands (including the Chief of the Army, the Chief of the Air Force, the Chief of the Navy, the Joint Forces Commanders of Unified Commands, and the AFP Board of Generals).

The Armed Forces of the Philippines were created as a result of the Commonwealth Act No. 1, also known as the National Defense Act of 1935. 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 Army then led by General Emilio Aguinaldo.


The position of the Chief of Staff has been traced from the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, when the Philippine Commonwealth Army (now the Philippine Army) was established as the main army of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. After the defeat of the First Philippine Republic during the Philippine–American War, the United States dissolved the army and relied on its armed forces together with some Filipino troops under the Philippine Constabulary. However, the National Defense Act of 1935 led to take on responsibilities on national defense and pave way for the creation of three major commands (Army, Air Force, Navy). Since the 1960s, the rosters of the Chiefs of Staff is arranged accordingly.[6]

The AFP Chief was assisted by the Vice Chief of Staff of the AFP and The Deputy Chief of Staff of the AFP, both holders of the rank of Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral. The Vice Chief of Staff serves as the assistant of the AFP Chief in their operational duties, they also assists the AFP Chief in their absence, while The Deputy Chief of Staff supervises the organizational staff, overall policy and strategy, and perform other duties assigned by the AFP Chief.

On June 19, 2020, under the DND Order no. 174, the title of Chief of Staff was renamed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, while the Vice Chief of Staff as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Deputy Chief of Staff as Chief of the Joint Staff.[7]


Commanding Generals of the Philippine Revolutionary ArmyEdit

No. Portrait Chief of Staff Took office Left office Time in office Service branch
Ricarte, ArtemioCaptain General
Artemio Ricarte
March 22, 1897January 22, 18991 year, 306 days 
Revolutionary Army
Luna, AntonioGeneral
Antonio Luna
January 22, 1899June 5, 1899 †134 days 
Revolutionary Army
Aguinaldo, EmilioGeneral
Emilio Aguinaldo
June 5, 1899March 23, 19011 year, 291 days 
Revolutionary Army
  1. ^ Ricarte was elected Captain-General by the Tejeros Convention.
  2. ^ Luna was assassinated by General Aguinaldo's men.
  3. ^ Aguinaldo personally took charge after General Antonio Luna's assassination.

Chiefs of Staff of the AFPEdit

No. Portrait Chief of Staff Took office Left office Time in office Service branch
1Reyes, Jose de losMajor General
Jose de los Reyes
December 21, 1935May 6, 1936137 days 
Philippine Army
2Santos, PaulinoMajor General
Paulino Santos
May 6, 1936December 31, 19382 years, 239 days 
Philippine Army
3Valdez, BasilioMajor General
Basilio Valdes
January 1, 1939November 7, 19456 years, 310 days 
Philippine Constabulary
4Jalandoni, RafaelMajor General
Rafael Jalandoni
December 21, 1945December 20, 19482 years, 365 days 
Philippine Constabulary
5Castañeda, MarianoMajor General
Mariano Castañeda
December 21, 1948May 28, 19512 years, 158 days 
Philippine Constabulary
6Duque, CalixtoMajor General
Calixto Duque
June 2, 1951December 30, 19532 years, 211 days 
Philippine Army
7Vargas, JesusLieutenant General
Jesus Vargas
December 30, 1953December 29, 19562 years, 365 days 
Philippine Army
8Arellano, AlfonsoLieutenant General
Alfonso Arellano
December 29, 1956December 31, 19582 years, 2 days 
Philippine Army
9Cabal, ManuelLieutenant General
Manuel Cabal
January 1, 1959December 30, 19612 years, 363 days 
Philippine Constabulary
10Cruz, PelagioLieutenant General
Pelagio Cruz
December 30, 1961August 31, 1962244 days 
Philippine Air Force
11Santos, AlfredoGeneral
Alfredo Santos
September 1, 1962July 12, 19652 years, 314 days 
Philippine Army
12Atienza, RigobertoGeneral
Rigoberto Atienza
July 13, 1965January 22, 1966193 days 
Philippine Army
13Mata, ErnestoGeneral
Ernesto Mata
January 22, 1966January 21, 1967364 days 
Philippine Army
14Osias, VictorGeneral
Victor Osias
January 21, 1967August 15, 1967206 days 
Philippine Air Force
15Velasco, SegundoGeneral
Segundo Velasco
August 15, 1967May 27, 1968286 days 
Philippine Army
16Yan, ManuelGeneral
Manuel Yan
May 28, 1968January 15, 19723 years, 232 days 
Philippine Constabulary
17Espino, RomeoGeneral
Romeo Espino
January 15, 1972August 15, 19819 years, 212 days 
Philippine Army
18Ver, FabianGeneral
Fabian Ver
August 15, 1981
December 2, 1985
October 24, 1984
February 25, 1986
3 years, 70 days
85 days
Philippine Constabulary
19Ramos, FidelGeneral
Fidel Ramos
(born 1928)
October 24, 1984
February 25, 1986
December 2, 1985
January 23, 1988
1 year, 39 days
1 year, 332 days
Philippine Constabulary
20de Villa, RenatoGeneral
Renato de Villa
(born 1935)
January 25, 1988January 23, 19912 years, 363 days 
Philippine Constabulary
21Biazon, RodolfoGeneral
Rodolfo Biazon
(born 1935)
January 24, 1991April 12, 199178 days 
Philippine Marine Corps
22Abadia, LisandroGeneral
Lisandro Abadia
April 12, 1991April 12, 19943 years, 0 days 
Philippine Army
23Enrile, ArturoGeneral
Arturo Enrile
April 15, 1994November 28, 1996227 days 
Philippine Army
24Acedera, ArnulfoGeneral
Arnulfo Acedera Jr.
November 28, 1996December 18, 19971 year, 20 days 
Philippine Air Force
26Mariano, ClementeGeneral
Clemente Mariano
December 18, 1997June 30, 1998194 days 
Philippine Army
27Nazareno, JoselinoGeneral
Joselino Nazareno
July 1, 1998July 8, 19991 year, 7 days 
Philippine Army
28Reyes, AngeloGeneral
Angelo Reyes
July 8, 1999March 17, 20011 year, 252 days 
Philippine Army
29Villanueva, DiomedioGeneral
Diomedio Villanueva
March 17, 2001May 18, 20021 year, 62 days 
Philippine Army
30Cimatu, RoyGeneral
Roy Cimatu
(born 1946)
May 18, 2002September 10, 2002115 days 
Philippine Army
31Defensor, Benjamin Jr.General
Benjamin Defensor Jr.
September 10, 2002November 28, 200279 days 
Philippine Air Force
32Santiago, DionisioGeneral
Dionisio Santiago
November 28, 2002April 8, 2003131 days 
Philippine Army
34Abaya, NarcisoGeneral
Narciso Abaya
April 8, 2003October 29, 20041 year, 204 days 
Philippine Army
35Abu, EfrenGeneral
Efren Abu
October 29, 2004August 15, 2005290 days 
Philippine Army
36Senga, GenerosoGeneral
Generoso Senga
August 15, 2005July 22, 2006341 days 
Philippine Army
37Esperon, Hermogenes Jr.General
Hermogenes Esperon Jr.
(born 1952)
July 22, 2006May 12, 20081 year, 295 days 
Philippine Army
38Yano, AlexanderGeneral
Alexander Yano
May 12, 2008May 1, 2009354 days 
Philippine Army
39Ibrado, VictorGeneral
Victor Ibrado
May 1, 2009March 10, 2010313 days 
Philippine Army
40Bangit, DelfinGeneral
Delfin Bangit
March 10, 2010June 22, 2010104 days 
Philippine Army
Ochoa, NestorLieutenant General
Nestor Ochoa
June 22, 2010June 30, 20108 days 
Philippine Army
41David, Ricardo Jr.General
Ricardo David
(born 1955)
July 2, 2010March 7, 2011248 days 
Philippine Army
42Oban, Eduardo Jr.General
Eduardo Oban Jr.
(born 1955)
March 7, 2011December 12, 2011280 days 
Philippine Air Force
43Dellosa, JessieGeneral
Jessie Dellosa
(born 1957)
December 12, 2011January 20, 20131 year, 39 days 
Philippine Army
44Bautista, EmmanuelGeneral
Emmanuel Bautista
(born 1958)
January 20, 2013July 18, 20141 year, 179 days 
Philippine Army
45Catapang, Gregorio PioGeneral
Gregorio Pio Catapang
(born 1959)
July 18, 2014July 10, 2015357 days 
Philippine Army
46Catapang, Gregorio PioGeneral
Hernando Delfin Carmelo A. Iriberri
(born 1960)
July 10, 2015April 22, 2016287 days 
Philippine Army
Miranda, GloriosoLieutenant General
Glorioso Miranda
(born 1961)
April 22, 2016June 30, 201669 days 
Philippine Army
47Visaya, RicardoGeneral
Ricardo Visaya
(born 1960)
July 1, 2016December 7, 2016159 days 
Philippine Army
48Año, EduardoGeneral
Eduardo Año
(born 1961)
December 7, 2016October 26, 2017323 days 
Philippine Army
49Guerrero, Rey LeonardoGeneral
Rey Leonardo Guerrero
(born 1961)
October 26, 2017April 18, 2018[10]174 days 
Philippine Army
50Galvez, Carlito, Jr.General
Carlito Galvez Jr.
(born 1962)
April 18, 2018December 11, 2018237 days 
Philippine Army
51Madrigal, Benjamin, Jr.General
Benjamin Madrigal Jr.
(born 1963)
December 11, 2018September 24, 2019287 days 
Philippine Army
52Clement, NoelGeneral
Noel Clement
(born 1964)
September 24, 2019January 4, 2020102 days 
Philippine Army

Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of the AFPEdit

No. Portrait Chief of Staff Took office Left office Time in office Service branch
53Santos, FelimonGeneral
Felimon Santos Jr.
(born 1964)
January 4, 2020August 3, 2020212 days 
Philippine Army
54Gapay, GilbertGeneral
Gilbert Gapay
(born 1965)
August 3, 2020February 4, 2021185 days 
Philippine Army
55Sobejana, CirilitoGeneral
Cirilito Sobejana
(born 1965)
February 4, 2021Incumbent71 days 
Philippine Army

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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 C. Aquino served as Secretary of National Defense and was elected the 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines in 1992 and served until 1998. He is the 2nd Army General who became the President of the Republic after Gen. Aguinaldo.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Enrile later served as Secretary of the DOTC under President Fidel Ramos.
  8. ^ Later served as Ambassador to Pakistan.
  9. ^ Reyes later served as Secretary of National Defense, Secretary of DILG, Secretary of DENR, and Secretary of DOE under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
  10. ^ Cimatu later served as Special Envoy to the Middle East. Cimatu served as the Secretary of the DENR under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
  11. ^ Later served as the director-general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
  12. ^ Esperon later served as Presidential Adviser on Peace Process under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Esperon served as National Security Adviser under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
  13. ^ Yano later served as our country's Ambassador to Brunei.
  14. ^ David later served as Bureau of Immigration Commissioner under President Benigno Aquino III.
  15. ^ Later served as Bases Conversion Development Agency Board Member.
  16. ^ Later served as the Administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.[9]
  17. ^ Later served as the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte[8]
  18. ^ Later served as the Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and later as Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
  19. ^ Later served as the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
  20. ^ Madrigal later served as a member of the governing board of the Philippine Coconut Authority.


  1. ^ "Gen. Glorioso Miranda named as acting AFP chief". CNN Philippines. April 22, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Macas, Trisha (December 7, 2017). "Duterte extends AFP chief Guerrero's term". GMA News Online. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  3. ^ "REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8186". Chan Robles. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "MaxDefense received confirmation that AFP has deferred the use of the new designation names, President has not yet approved the use of these". July 26, 2020.
  6. ^ "Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines". Official Gazette.
  7. ^ Mangosing, Frances (July 13, 2020). "PH military adopting new titles: Chief of staff now Joint Chiefs Chair". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Rebel hunter Año is new AFP chief". Rappler. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "Duterte leads AFP change of command rites". Sun.Star Manila. July 1, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  10. ^ "Hello, goodbye, General Guerrero". Philippine Daily Inquirer. December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.

External linksEdit