Pres. Diosdado Macapagal

by Alejandro Camiling, CPA

       
 

List of Bios:

 Macario Arnedo

 Gregorio Camiling, Jr.

 Vicente Catacutan

 Jose Gutierrez-David

 Romeo S. David

 Rogelio de la Rosa

 Vicente A. Dizon

 Escaler Family

 Bro. Andrew Gonzalez

 Diosdado Macapagal

 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

 Armando Q. Madamba

 Nestor S. Mangio

 Delfin T. Quiboloy

bullet Oscar Rodriguez

 Jose Abad Santos

 Marcos G. Soliman

 Honorio T. Ventura

 Amado M. Yuzon

 

Andro's Main Page

 
Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army Official Website

Lt. Gen. Gregorio M. Camiling, Jr.
Commanding General, Philippine Army

By heritage, General Gregorio M. Camiling, Jr. is a Kapampangan who traces his paternal ancestry to one of the early Kapampangan barangay chieftains who settled, cleared and cultivated the fertile lands of Baculud in the Great Island of Luzon of the Philippine Archipelago.

When the Spanish conquistadores led by Governor Miguel Lopez de Legaspi founded Ciudad de Manila in the Philippines in 1571 and transferred the seat of national government from the Visayas, they reorganized the Kapampangan territory of Rajah Soliman and Rajah Lakandula as the Province of Pampanga which extended from Manila Bay in the South, to the Zambales mountains in the West, to the Sierra Madre horizon in the East and to the Gulf of Lingayen in the North. Concurrent with the establishment of the Province of Pampanga, towns called pueblos were also founded and subdivided into barangays called barrios and estates called encomiendas.

The town of Baculud was re-named as Villa de Bacolor and became the provincial capital of Pampanga. Villa de Bacolor and its people prospered and contributed significantly in the cultural, economic and political development of the Philippines.

Many prominent Filipinos such as Revolutionary General Mamerto Natividad, Senator/Governor Pablo Angeles David, Governor Tiburcio Hilario, Governor Francisco Liongson, Governor Ceferino Joven, Secretary of the Interior and Governor Honorio Ventura, Sugar and Rice Magnate Don Jose de Leon, philanthropist and the founder of Pampanga Sugar Development Co., Inc., Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Carmen Buyson, Justice of the Supreme Court and Ambassador Roberto Regala, Justice of the Supreme Court Jose Gutierrez David, University of the Philippines President Vidal Tan, Undersecretary of National Defense Emerito de Jesus, Solicitor General and Governor Estelito Mendoza, Secretary of Education Jose de Jesus and Brigadier General Virgilio M. David have or had their roots from Bacolor. The town, which was formerly dubbed as Athens of the Philippines, produced also famous writers and playwrights such as Crisostomo Soto, Felix Galura, Mariano Pabalan, Anselmo Fajardo and many others.

The town of Bacolor was even made the temporary capital of the Philippines when the British forces occupied Manila in 1762-1763. When Archbishop Manuel Antonio Rojo, the acting Spanish Governor General in the Philippines at the time, was forced to surrender the Spanish forces and the Philippine government to General William Draper of the British forces, Spanish Lieutenant General Simon de Anda y Salazar took over as Acting Governor General of the Philippines and retreated to Bacolor to organize an armed resistance composed mostly of Kapampangans who were known for their bravery and skills in battles. Many Kapampangan soldiers were awarded captainship positions in the Spanish Colonial armies because the Spanish authorities respected their leadership abilities and equated a Spanish soldier and three Kapampangan soldiers with four Spanish soldiers. On October 3, 1762 warriors from Pampanga, Bulacan and Laguna led by fearless Maestre de Campo Manalastas of Pampanga fought valiantly in hand to hand combat against the British invaders at Bagumbayan and Malate and almost annihilated the enemies and succeeded in regaining Ciudad de Manila. The arrival of fresh British troops and superior arms saved the day for England. At the height of the British-Spanish war in the Philippines in January 1763, one of the two distinguished Filipino infantry commanders in Governor Simon de Anda's army, was a native Kapampangan, Colonel Santos de los Angeles.

A few years after the Philippine-American War in the early 20th century and a civil government was established, the capital town of Bacolor lost its former glory when the seat of provincial government was transferred to San Fernando under the administration of Governor Macario Arnedo. In 1991, Bacolor was further devastated by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and many of its residents were forced to flee and settled in other towns and foreign lands.

One of the late 18th century and early 19th century descendants of the first village chieftains who developed the town of Bacolor was called Suan a Hari because he ruled his little fiefdom like a king in dispensing justice to those who broke the laws and compensating fairly those who assisted him in discharging his duties and responsibilities. Suan a Hari whose real name was Juan Camiling was also known for his generosity and care for his farm workers. Years after he crossed the Great Beyond, most of his descendants moved out of Bacolor and took advantage of economic opportunities in other towns, cities and other foreign countries.

Gregorio M. Camiling, Jr., a descendant of Suan a Hari, was born in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on November 15, 1947 to the spouses Gregorio David Camiling Sr. of Bacolor, Pampanga, Philippines and the former Apolonia Manalastas Miclat of the City of San Fernando in the Province of Pampanga of the Republic of the Philippines.

General Camiling has nine (9) siblings namely, Eufracio, Josefa, Virgilio, Armando, Renato, Eloisa, Joselito, Teresita and Noemi. His eldest brother, Eufracio and younger brother, Joselito, a colonel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are now deceased but the other seven brothers and sisters have now their own families and very successful in their respective professions and business undetakings.

A consistent scholar and topnotch student, General Camiling graduated 1st Honorable Mention at Cubao Elementary School in 1960 and Salutatorian of Cubao High School in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines in 1964. After completing his secondary education, he secured a nomination as a son of a military man and took the competitive examination for admission to the famed Philippine Military Academy. As one of the examinees that garnered the highest test scores, he was admitted as a plebe at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City, Philippines after he passed a rigorous physical examination and oral interviews from recruiting military officers. A born leader and a conscientious student, he excelled at the military academy. He earned his Bachelor of Science and graduated as an original member of class 1969.

As a fast rising army officer and prospective military commander, General Camiling completed numerous advanced military science courses, resource management classes and command and general staff courses in the Philippines and in the United States of America. He also graduated with Honors at the Manuel L. Quezon University in Manila with a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

As a promising and young second lieutenant of the Philippine Army, Gregorio M. Camiling, Jr. volunteered for assignment with the 4th Military Area in Mindanao in 1969 where his military skills and bravery were tested. From 1971 to 1974, he was the commanding officer of Alpha Company of the 26th Infantry Battalion under the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in the military campaign against Muslim rebels in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Sulu of southern Philippines. As a courageous and confident 1st Lieutenant, he physically participated in the Liberation of Sulu from the Muslim rebels in 1974 and paved the way for the re-establishment of peace and order in the southern island province.

Gregorio M. Camiling, Jr. was promoted as a captain in 1975. He served until May 1976 as Deputy G3 of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and Operations Officer of the Army Component of the Southwestern Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He helped supervise twenty seven (27) Army, Marine and Constabulary fighting battalions in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, Philippines. In June, 1976, Captain Gregorio M. Camiling, Jr. was assigned as acting commander of the 4th Light Armor Battalion in Mindanao replacing a lieutenant colonel whose leadership did not meet the standards of his military superiors. On January 1, 1977, Captain Camiling was promoted as a major of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

To take advantage of Major Camiling's actual combat experience and exemplary military competence and proficiency, the Philippine Army designated him as a military science instructor and department head of the School for Combat Arms of the Philippine Army School Center in 1977-1980. In coordination with computer experts from the Army Management Information Center, he introduced in 1979 the Computer Oriented Maneuver and Battle Action Training (Combat), the 1st Computer War Gaming Program of the Philippine Army. In 1980-1982, he was the Chief, Training Branch, OG3 of the Philippine Army and initiated the Participative Planning of the Army Training Program. He was also the Chief Planner and Coordinator of the Fifth Pacific Armies Management Seminar, the first to be held outside Hawaii of the United States of America and hosted by the Philippine Army.

In 1982-1986, Lieutenant Colonel Camiling was assigned as Battalion Commander of the 28th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, which operated against the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and New Peoples Army (NPA) dissidents in Mindanao. In a concurrent capacity, he commanded Task Group Galagala of Regional Unified Command XI of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which controlled two (2) infantry battalions, and a constabulary provincial command. He was then the youngest task group commander under the Southern Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In 1987-1988, Colonel Camiling was the Deputy G3 of the Philippine Army and introduced the Special Operations Team (SOT) Concept as a primary AFP Counter Insurgency Strategy. This concept helped in dismantling numerous NPA Political Infrastructures and effected the neutralization and the eventual surrender of many dissident terrorists. In 1989-1990, he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Training, G8 of the Philippine Army who emphasized dynamism and hands-on-training. At that time, he was also the youngest member of the Army General Staff.

In 1990-1992, as a personal choice of then Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos and President Corazon C. Aquino, he served his 4th Mindanao tour as Chief of Staff of the 4th Infantry Division with the purpose of re-organizing the infantry division after the revolt of then Colonel Alexander Noble. From 1992-1993, he served as Deputy J3, GHQ and Chief of the Joint Operation Center as well as a member of the AFP Support Committee of the Government Panel in negotiating with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). He then served in 1994 as Commander of the 201st Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and supervised the military operations against the NPAs in the Bicol Region of the Republic of the Philippines.

Commanding the Light Armor Brigade of the Philippine Army in 1995-1997, he earned his 1st star rank as a brigadier general. He helped in maintaining peace and order in southern Philippines and assisted in upgrading the military organization and finalized the proposed armor modernization programs.

In January 1998 to April 1999, he commanded the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army with jurisdiction of Region 1 and Region 3. He introduced the Squad Test to improve leadership teamwork and decision making process of the smallest maneuver unit of the Army - The Rifle Squad. He was later ordered in May 1999 to lead and re-organize the 3rd Infantry Division with jurisdiction over the islands of Panay and Negros. His efficient leadership and outstanding accomplishments led to his promotion to Major General on October 16, 1999. In November 1999 he was placed in Command of the 6th Infantry Division, the fightingest Division of the Army and led the campaign against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). His forces cleared the Narciso Ramos Highway and victoriously captured Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camps, including the heavily fortified and self-contained Camp Abubakar, the headquarters of the MILF. It is also noted that in 1999, he was nominated as commanding general of the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in East Timor when that nation revolted against Indonesia to gain its independence.

In October 2000 to September 2001, Major General Camiling took over as chief of the Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) of the AFP, which has jurisdiction over the entire Mindanao area. With this heavy and important responsibility, he was promoted to Lieutenant General on November 12, 2000. Hundreds of the followers of Abu Sayyaf were killed, captured or surrendered during the term of General Camiling as SOUTHCOM Commander. He became the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from September 14 to December 5, 2001 and eventually promoted to Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the second highest-ranking military officer in the Philippines.

On November 16, 2002, Gen. Camiling was appointed as Commanding General of the Philippine Army.

General Camiling's long and impressive military career gained him numerous awards and decorations. These prestigious awards and military decorations include the following:

  • Distinguished Conduct Star (2nd highest award for gallantry)
  • Nine (9) Distinguished Service Star Awards
  • Gold Cross Medal
  • Gawad Sa Kaunlaran Award
  • Four (4) Military Merit Medals with 4th Bronze Spearhead Device (Combat)
  • Nineteen (19) Military Merit Medals
  • Silver Wing Medal
  • Six (6) Military Commendation Medals
  • Military Civic Action Medal
  • Saguisag Ng Ulirang Kawal
  • Long Service Medal with three (3) Bronze Stars - 35 Years in Military Service
  • Combat Kagitingan Badge with two (2) Silver Stars (as Company / Battalion / Brigade / Division and Area Command Commander)
  • Honorary Marine Combat Badge (Two Bronze Seahorse Devices)
  • AFP Home Defense Badge
  • Basic Parachutist Badge
  • Honorary Army Aviator Badge
  • Martial Law Citation Badge
  • Philippine Republic Citation Badge with two Bronze Stars
  • Mindanao Anti-Dissident Campaign Medal and Ribbon with 4th Bronze Stars (5 Tours)
  • Luzon Campaign Medal and Ribbon with 3rd Bronze Stars ( 4 Tours)
  • Visayas Campaign Medal and Ribbon with Two Bronze Stars and a
  • Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Operation Ribbon with Bronze Star

The following Commendations and Plaques of Appreciation also recognized General Camiling's outstanding accomplishments:

  • Presidential Citation for Military Leadership, April 2000 by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada
  • Pampanga Provincial Government's 2002 Most Outstanding Kapampangan for Military Service
  • Command Plaque (C/S, 4ID, PA)
  • Command Plaque (CO, 28IB, 4ID, PA)
  • Outstanding Instructor Award (Seven)
  • Commanding General, Philippine Army Award of Merit (Six Awards)
  • Commendation from Sangguniang Panglungsod, Zamboanga City
  • Plaque as Most Outstanding College President, Fort Bonifacio College
  • Most Outstanding Alumnus of Class 1969 of the Philippine Military Academy
  • President's Award - Kiwanis Club of Camp Evangelista
  • Outstanding Son of Bacolor, Pampanga
  • Adopted son of Camiling, Tarlac and many other awards.

General Camiling is married to an equally intelligent Mindanao beauty, the former Emma Adelante Estocada of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. Their happy marriage produced three smart and responsible children: Rosalie Camiling Gamiao, a registered nurse now in Portland, Oregon, Gemma Lou Camiling, a journalism graduate of the University of the Philippines and sixteen-year old high school student, Michael Camiling. ([email protected] -03/08/02)