17th Commanding General, PAF
08 October 1986- 06 April 1988
LT GEN ANTONIO E SOTELO AFP was born in Claveria, Cagayan on 13 August 1933.
He was in his third year in Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering when he passed and joined the Philippine Air Force Flying School, Fernando Air Base, Lipa City as an aviation cadet on 15 November 1954. He completed the training on 23 March 1956 and was commissioned 2Lt in the Reserve Force. A year later, he was integrated into the Regular Force. He later completed his Bachelor of Science and graduating as Cum Laude at Basa Air Base College in 1971.
He was first assigned with the 5th Fighter Wing, Basa Air Base and stayed with the unit for 21 years. He began as fighter pilot of the P-51D “Mustang” and managed to transition with jet fighter aircraft. He rose and became Squadron Commander of the 105th Combat Crew Training Squadron and later with the 6th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He became Team Leader of the Blue Diamonds precision aerobatic team and defeated the U.S. 13th Air Force, Clark Air Base Team in an air-to-ground gunnery competition in 1971.
The early military education of General Sotelo started when he attended the Military Assistance Program Orientation Training Course at Air Training Command, Tactical Air Command Base, United States Air Force. After three years, he took up F-5A/B Familiarization Course and Combat Crew Training at Basa Air Base, Pampanga. Later on, he took up and completed the Command General Staff Course at the Indonesian Command and General Staff School in 1975, and in 1977, he completed his Masters in National Security Administration at the National Defense College of the Philippine, at Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila.
Some important positions General Sotelo held from 1977 to 1985 are the following: Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Materiel, A-4; Directorate for Operational Readiness and Flight Safety (OREFS); and Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, A-3. He was appointed Wing Commander of the 15th Strike Wing, Sangley Point, Cavite on 16 July 1985 before he was elevated to the position of Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force on 08 October 1986.
General Sotelo, as Commander of the 15th Strike Wing, was extremely instrumental in supporting the “People Power” Revolution that ousted the Marcos government in February 1986. He is a recipient of various awards and decorations such as Distinguished Conduct Stars, Distinguished Service Stars, Distinguished Aviation Crosses, Military Merit Medals, Military Commendation Medals, and Silver Wing Medal, among others.
Lieutenant General Sotelo is married to Lilian with whom he has four children namely Enola Gay, Antonio Jr, Albert Jose and Agustin Nicolas.