Rodolfo Biazon, a warrior and a gentleman; 88 | Inquirer News

Rodolfo Biazon, a warrior and a gentleman; 88

In this 2006 photo, former Sen. Rodolfo Biazon cites an Inquirer story as he discusses alleged irregularities in the Philippine Air Force. At left, Biazon, then commander of the National Capital Region Defense Command in 1990, joins then Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos in inspecting firearms seized from rebel soldiers. STORY: Rodolfo Biazon, a warrior and a gentleman; 88

SOLDIER-STATESMAN | In this 2006 photo, former Sen. Rodolfo Biazon cites an Inquirer story as he discusses alleged irregularities in the Philippine Air Force. At left, Biazon, then commander of the National Capital Region Defense Command in 1990, joins then-Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos in inspecting firearms seized from rebel soldiers. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS)

MANILA, Philippines — A great Filipino. A soldier-statesman. A brave soul. A warrior and a gentleman.

These were among the tributes that poured in for former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief, senator, and representative Rodolfo “Pong” Gaspar Biazon who died on Monday at the age of 88.


“It is with deep sadness that we announce that the bell has rung, and the last Taps has been [played] for [my father],” Muntinlupa City Mayor Rozzano Rufino Biazon said in a post on Facebook and Twitter.


“It is perfectly fitting that today, Independence Day… around 8:30 a.m., the soldier who dedicated his life and laid it on the line in defending freedom and democracy has been set free from the pains of this world.”

The night before, the younger Biazon took to social media to deny a report that his father had died.

Under treatment for lung cancer after being diagnosed with the ailment in July 2022, Biazon caught pneumonia twice this year with the second bout “more serious than the first, which had further weakened his lungs,” according to his son.

“The family is grateful that we were able to spend his last moments with us intimately and peacefully. We send off a warrior and gentleman, secure in the knowledge that the faithful servant has fought the good fight and has finished the race,” he added.

From ‘goat’ to AFP chief

Biazon was born on April 14, 1935, in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

The goat — a cadet with the lowest academic ranking — of the Philippine Military Academy’s (PMA) Class of 1961, he rose through the ranks to head the elite Philippine Marines in 1987 before his appointment as commanding general of the National Capital Region Defense Command from 1988 to 1990.


As one of the AFP officials who remained loyal to then-President Corazon Aquino after the first People Power Revolution, Biazon helped quash the 1987 and 1989 military coup attempts against her.

He was appointed AFP vice chief of staff in 1990 and then as AFP chief the next year.

A decorated military official, he received 26 personal and campaign medals, including the Distinguished Service Star, Gold Cross Medal, Outstanding Achievement Medal, and Bronze Cross Medal.

After retiring from military service, he served in Congress — as a senator from 1992 to 1995, from 1998 until 2010, and then as Muntinlupa City representative from 2010 to 2016.

In a statement, the Department of National Defense said that Biazon left “a legacy worthy of emulation by current and future generations of Filipinos.”

“Throughout his decades-long service to the Filipino nation, Senator Biazon embodied patriotism, integrity, and commitment to the protection of the country’s freedom and its democratic institutions,” it added.

The AFP also honored its former chief of staff—so far the only one to come from the Philippine Marines—saying that he played “a pivotal role in defending the country’s democracy and upholding the integrity of our armed forces.”

At the House of Representatives, among those who paid tribute to Biazon were Speaker Martin Romualdez and Rep. Raul Tupas, chair of the House national defense and security committee.

Fitting tribute

“A brave soul has been summoned back to God’s army on a day that we Filipinos associate with bravery. That is a fitting tribute to Pong Biazon by the Almighty, telling us to emulate the great Filipino that he was,” Romualdez said in a statement.

Tupas, on the other hand, remembered Biazon as a “soldier-statesman” who had presence, “with bearing honed and polished at the PMA and the Philippine Marines.”

“He did not only command respect but also earned it,” Tupas said as he recalled how Biazon “used his brilliant, strategic and tactical mind and straightforward personality to convince Congress to pass landmark legislation” like Republic Act (RA) No. 7898 or the AFP Modernization Act, RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, RA 9161 or the Rental Reform Act.

Biazon was also coauthor of RA 7742 which changed the mandatory membership to the Pag-Ibig Fund, RA 7901 which created the Caraga region, RA 7889 which established the University of the Philippines Mindanao, RA 7863 or the Home Guaranty Corporation Act, and RA 7691 which expanded the jurisdiction of local courts.

“The son of a panadero (baker) and labandera (laundry woman) who himself worked his way through school as a clothes washer and laborer, leaves behind a lasting legacy to a most grateful Filipino people,” Tupas said.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, meanwhile, lauded Biazon for his “firm stand against China’s incursion in the West Philippine Sea,” a sentiment echoed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

“Senator Pong did not hold back from calling on our top officials to take a united position against China. Time and again, when he saw that our nation was in peril, he stepped out from his private life and gave us public servants clarity and a sense of direction,” Hontiveros said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“This is a bittersweet Independence Day, as the nation mourns the passing of Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, one of our staunchest defenders of the peace and democracy that we are enjoying today,” said Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.



‘Patriot’: DND, AFP mourn death of former chief Biazon

Rodolfo Biazon remembered: Senators hail his legacy on bittersweet Independence Day

Romualdez, lawmakers hail Biazon: ‘Brave soul, model citizen’

TAGS: Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Military Academy, PMA Class of 1961, Rodolfo Biazon, Senate

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.