14th Commanding General, PAF

01 October 1981- 05 April 1982


BRIG GEN PETRONIO M LAPEÑA AFP was born in Meycauayan, Bulacan on October 17, 1924.

He finished his secondary education at Meycauyan Institute in 1946 and completed his Associate in Arts from C. Samsons Colleges, which he initially took at the Far Eastern University. In 1947, he took up commercial flight training at FEATI before he sought entrance, as an aviation cadet, at the Philippine Air Force Flying School where he completed his training in 1950. He later moved to train as a fighter pilot and specialized on T-6 “Texan” and P-51D “Mustang” aircraft. He also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation from Basa Air Base College.

After his graduation from pilot training, he was assigned with the 6th Fighter Squadron and was designated as flight instructor to aviation Cadets of the 100th Training Wing. He was later chosen to undergo helicopter flight training in the U.S. where he had the chance to handle 25 types of helicopters and was able to check out in 19 types, a feat that has yet to be replicated up to this date by any local helicopter pilot in the country.

General Lapeña was able to finish significant courses in his military career such as his Military Administration at the Air Force Officer School; Physiological Altitude Training in Okinawa, Japan; Air Command and General Staff Course at Air Command and Staff College; Amphibious Jet Helicopter Pilot qualification and Instructor’s Course at Nagoya, Japan; and Senior International Management Course at the Defense Resources Management and Education Center in Monterey, California.

He held various important positions such as Squadron Commander of 601st Liaison Squadron; Squadron Commander of 505th Air Rescue Squadron; Officer-In-Charge, 700th Presidential Airlift Task Group; Wing Commander, 700th Special Mission Wing from 02 December 1974 to 04 June 1978; Commander, Aviation Security Command; Vice Commander, PAF and concurrent Commander of the 1st Air Division; and as Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force from 02 October 1981 – 05 April 1982.

General Lapeña is a recipient of numerous awards and decorations such as the Distinguished Service Star, Military Merit Medals, and Silver Wing Medal, among others.

Married to the former Amelia Madrid of Baguio City to whom he have three children namely Madonna, Joseph and Jeffrey Gilbert (PMA ’83 and PAFFS ‘85).