Arroyo’s Generals: Militarization and Patronage

In view of the past history of military coups, attempted coups and “mutinies” (several against her which were put down by the military led by Generals loyal to Arroyo), it is clear that Mrs. Arroyo has been assiduous in keeping the military leadership onside. Presidents who failed to do that, such as Marcos at the end, and Estrada, the predecessor of Arroyo, were removed when the military refused to protect them from “People Power”. Given Arroyo’s current low rating in “Trust” surveys; the general belief that she stole the election in 2004 and has used her office to steal millions; and a widespread apprehension that she has turned out to be “worse than Marcos” when it comes to corruption and repression, it is widely anticipated that she will try to brazen it out through Cha-cha, or even a return to Emergency Rule, a trick which she played in 2006 for a month. Some observers have the view that since she was able to get away with that exercise, she might be emboldened to try it again since the military stayed mostly loyal, and civil society was relatively subdued in its response. Of course anything like the imposition of a Marcos-style Martial Law would certainly lead to a massive response from civil society which would likely result in a split in the military, and the end of any pretense that Arroyo is acting on behalf of the nation as a whole.

1. Eduardo R. Ermita – Ret. General, AFP (former Chief of Staff; interestingly he served in Vietnam and would be very familiar with the Phoenix Program run by the US occupation forces) Executive Secretary to the President. Chair, Anti-Terrorism Council.

2. Angelo Reyes – Ret. General, AFP (former Chief of Staff). Secretary Dept of Energy and Natural Resources.

3. Hermogenes Ebdane – Ret.General, PNP (Director General). Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

4. Hermenogenes Esperon – Ret. General, AFP ( former Chief of Staff). Head, Office of the Presidential Management Staff.

5. Leandro Mendoza – Ret.General, PNP (Director-General). Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication.

6.Reynaldo Berroya – Ret. General, PNP (former Chief of the Intelligence Group), Assistant Secretary, Department of Transportation and Communication.

7. Edilberto Adan – Ret. General, AFP. Executive Director, Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement.

8. Avelino Razon – Ret.General. Former Director General, PNP. Head, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

9. Dionisio Santiago – Ret General, AFP (former Chief of Staff).Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority. A post in this Authority has been considered for General Palparan because of his “record” in dealing with insurgency, we are told.

10. Arturo Lomibao – Ret. General, PNP ( Director General). Deputy to the National Security Advisor to the President, Norberto Gonzales; Head, National Counter Terrorism Group; Director, National Irrigation Administration. (Like the President, a native of Pangasinan).

11. Tirso Danga- Ret. Admiral, Philippine Navy. Head, National Printing Office.

12. Rodolfo Garcia – Ret. General, AFP. Chair of the Peace Panel in negotiations with the MILF.

13. Romeo Tolentino – Ret. General, AFP. Chair, PNOC-AFC (Philippine National Oil Company-American Fuel Corporation).

14. Edgar Aglipay – Retired General, PNP (Director General). Head, Philippine Retirement Authority.

15. Roberto Lastimoso – Ret.General, PNP (Director General). Head, Land Transportation Office and Metro Rail Transit.

16. Narcisco Abaya – Ret. General, AFP(former Chief of Staff). President, Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

17. Roy Cimatu – Ret. General, AFP (former Chief of Staff). Special Envoy to the Middle East.

18. Generoso Senga- Ret. General, AFP (former Chief of Staff). Ambassador to Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

19. Ernesto de Leon – Ret. General, AFP. Ambassador to Australia.

20. The National Bureau of Investigation, in the Department of Justice, is also an important intelligence service, along with the ISAFP. It is presently headed by Atty. Nestor Mantaring; from 2001-05 it was headed by General Reynaldo G. Loynoco, AFP.

21. Jose Balajadia, Jr. – Ret. General, AFP. Sergeant-at-Arms, Philippine Senate. (Note: He has a complement of security officials to secure the attendance of subjects of Senate inquiry, and other tasks relating to Senate security).

22. Jose Calimlim – Ret. General, Anti-Smuggling Task Force, Subic Bay Freeport. (Former Deputy Chief of Staff, AFP under Angelo Reyes (no. 2 above) during the reign of President Estrada to whom he had previously been aide- de- camp).

25. Pedro Cabuay – Ret. General, AFP. Director General, National Intelligence Co-ordinating Agency.

Mentor and supporter

Fidel V. Ramos-Ret. General, Philippine Constabulary (predecessor of the PNP, originally organized by the Americans during the Filipino-American War). Served under President Marcos, but later turned against him as a crucial part of the “People Power” revolt (Edsa I). Former President of the Philippine Republic (he succeeded Cory Aquino), Ramos remains a significant player in Philippine politics. He has been a major supporter of Arroyo and was instrumental in her political rise to the Vice Presidency and subsequent success in achieving the Presidency by conspiring to remove President Estrada. (

Share This Post