AFP Chief of Staff
General Andres Centino became the AFP Chief of Staff on November 12, 2021, the 11th and last appointee in the six years of the presidency of Rodrigo R. Duterte.
BY EDWIN P. GALVEZ
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RENJIE TOLENTINO
HMUA BY KLENG TOTANES
General Andres “Andy” Castor Centino—born to a family of dedicated “government workers” in Tacloban, Leyte and raised in a military family in Cebu—has endured some of the most treacherous terrains in the far-flung and remote areas of the country, fighting lawless elements, particularly communist insurgents, but it has never occurred to him he would one day become chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Known as the “combat general” who himself endured the toil of serving in the frontlines as a soldier, Centino became the AFP chief of staff (CSAFP)on November 12, 2021, the 11th and last appointee in the
six years of the presidency of Rodrigo R. Duterte.
He had just completed six months of facing challenges and pushing victories in his post then as commanding general of the Philippine Army (PA) when he took over the helm.
The year before, in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, he was leading the troops in Cagayan de Oro as the commander of the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division (4ID) of the PA while concurrently heading
its Joint Task Force Diamond.
“Umabot lang sa ganito (It just came to this point),” he tells LEAGUE Magazine in his well-mannered demeanor when asked if this fell along a plan.
“I was in the field in Mindanao then, so I didn’t know that a year after I will be here having this interview,” he chuckles in disbelief.
It is, indeed, no joke being the chief of staff of the AFP, he admits. But Centino a victorious veteran of many wars in both the personal and professional sense is ready.
“I think it helped a lot that I had experience mostly in the field handling men and exposed to so many critical situations that really demanded so much of one’s leadership abilities,” he says.
HIS FATHER’S SON
The battle-tested soldier began his tour of duty after graduating with honors in 1988 as a member of the “Maringal” class of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
The general recalls being literally “left by his father,” the late Flaviano Centino Sr., as he began his studies to become a soldier. The latter encouraged his son to take the academy’s entrance .....