Cardozo M. Luna

Cardozo "Ding" M. Luna Cardozo 1.jpg
Nickname Ding
Born September 7, 1953 (1953-09-07) (age 58)
San Ildefonso, Bulacan, Philippines
Allegiance Philippine flag Philippines
Service/branch Armed Forces of the Philippines
Philippine Army
Philippine Constabulary
Years of service 1975-2009
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Vice Chief of Staff, AFP
AFP Eastern Mindanao Command
AFP Central Command
4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, PA
Training and Doctrine Command, PA
Commandant of Cadets, PMA
Tactics Groups, PMA
602nd Infantry Brigade, 6ID, PA
Defense Intelligence and Security Group, DoD
Assistant Chief of Staff, Civil Military Operations (G7),PA
Battles/wars Communist Insurgencies
Islamic Insurgencies
Operation Enduring Freedom: Philippines
Awards Philippine Legion of Honor, degree of Commander
Distinguished Service Star (5)
Bronze Cross Medal (3)
Military Merit Medal (5)
Military Civic Action Medals (3)
Military Commendation Medals (5)
Chief of Staff Award
CG, PA Award (Order of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo)
Outstanding Achievement Medal
Sagisag ng Ulirang Kawal
Mindanao-Sulu Anti-Dissident Campaign Medal and Ribbon
Luzon Anti-Dissident Campaign Medal and Ribbon
Mindanao-Sulu Campaign Medal and Ribbon
Various Commendations and Plaques of Merit from different organizations

Lieutenant General Cardozo M. Luna (born September 7, 1953) is the former Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands. Luna was based in The Hague, the Legal Capital of the World and the International City of Peace and Justice.[1] He is a retired three-star general and the 35th Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the second highest position in the AFP hierarchy.[2] Cardozo Luna also served as the commander of two unified commands, Eastern Mindanao Command and Central Command.[3] He descended from the Luna clans of Badoc, Ilocos Norte where the ancestry of Antonio Luna and Juan Luna, members of the 1896 Philippine Revolution also came from. He retired from the military service on the 1st of May 2009 in view of his nomination to the post of Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands. He was a Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an international agency, located in The Hague, Netherlands.[4] He also served as a Governor of the Common Fund for Commodities, a UN funded organization assisting Third World countries to increase food production. He served as the focal person for the Philippines' defense engagements not only in Netherlands but as well as with other countries in Europe.[5] During his ambassadorship, the Philippines marked a milestone by officially becoming the 70th member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the 111th member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.[6]



Cardozo was born to lawyer and retired colonel (Philippine Constabulary) Raymundo V. Luna and his wife, Teofista M. Luna. He was born in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, Philippines and raised in Santo Tomas, Batangas where he graduated consistently on top of his elementary and high school classes. Owing to Colonel Luna’s profession as a lawyer, his son Cardozo is named after Benjamin N. Cardozo, the renowned Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court who significantly contributed to the development of American Civil Law in the 20th century.[7]

He is married to Mrs. Joyce Marcelina Espinosa Siongco Luna of Tarlac and blessed with two sons and three daughters.


Cardozo is a member of the Philippine Military Academy "Makabayan" Class of 1975, graduated number 6 in a class of 91.[8] Prior to his admission to PMA as a cadet, Cardozo Luna entered Mapúa Institute of Technology taking up Civil Engineering. While already in the service, he pursued post-graduate courses in the Philippines and the United States. He graduated with Masters in Economics Development from the University of the Philippines. He also obtained his second graduate degree of Master of Arts in Economics Planning and poised to complete his Doctoral Degree in Regional Economics at the prestigious Ivy League business school of the University of Pennsylvania.[9] He is a member of the prestigious Wharton-Penn Club of the Philippines. He is also a Defense Diplomacy Fellow in Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.[10]

Other than being touted as an academic giant in the military, Cardozo also excelled in his military education and training record. He attained top honors when he took the PC Officers Basic Course, PC Officers Advance Course (August 1988), the AFP Command and General Staff Course and the Joint Command and Staff Course (April 1995).[11]

Military career

USS Blue Ridge Commander Vice Adm. Doug Crowder, U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cardozo Luna lead a toast to the strong alliance between the US and the Philippines.

Upon graduation from the academy, Cardozo was commissioned as Second Lieutenant and joined the Philippine Constabulary. He spent most of his junior-officer's years in Mindanao. After his stint in Mindanao, he served as Junior Staff at AFP General Headquarters & Headquarters Service Command and at Department of National Defense. He was also assigned as a Junior Staff at the defense attaché in Washington, D.C., USA from 1981 until 1984.[12] Upon his return to the country, he served as Vice President of the Armed Forces & Police Mutual Benefit Association (AFPMBAI) and, soon after, as Vice President/Assistant General Manager of the Armed Forces & Police Savings and Loan Association (AFPSLAI). In 1987, he assumed as the District Commander of the Philippine Constabulary 1st District, Regional Command (RECOM) 4 and later served as the Commanding Officer of the 214th PC Coy, RECOM 4 in Batangas.

Among the significant positions he held in the past were: Defense Intelligence Security Group and Military Intelligence Group (MIG) Commander;[13] Battalion Commander of the 37th Infantry Brigade, 6th Infantry Division in Mindanao from the 16th of November 1995 to the 16th of May 1997; Assistant Chief of Staff of the Civil Military Operations (G7) of the Philippine Army from the 18th of November 1997 to the 23rd of July 1999;[14] Commanding Officer of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division from the 28th of June 2001 to the 16th of April 2002.

Upon promotion to star-rank, he assumed positions of higher responsibility as Commanding General of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, 6th Infantry Division from the 16th of April 2002 to the 25th of July 2003;[15] Commandant of Cadets and Head, Tactics Group of the Philippine Military Academy from the 21st of July 2003 to the 18th of October 2004; Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Command from the 25th of October 2004 to the 7th of November 2005;[16] Commanding General of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division from the 2nd of November 2005 to the 10th of August 2006;[17] Commander of the AFP Central Command based in Cebu City from the 2nd of August 2006 to the 30th of August 2007 where he also supervised the security of the ASEAN Summit protecting 18 Heads of State; and Commander of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City from the 31st of August 2007 to the 16th of May 2008. During his stint as the Commanding General of the AFP EastMinCom, he commanded and controlled 3 Army Infantry Divisions, a Naval Force, a Tactical Operations Wing, and several AFP Wide Service Support Units in Eastern Mindanao whose area of responsibility covers Regions 10, 11, 12, Caraga Region, and three provinces of ARMM such as: Maguindanao, Sharif Kabunsuan, and Lanao del Sur, consisting of not less than 25,000 uniformed personnel and civilian employees of the AFP.

Luna is a recipient of various military awards and decorations (including the Distinguished Service Star), numerous Letters of Commendations from various military officers and Resolutions from Chief Executives of government agencies and Local Government Units for his valuable services rendered as an officer and a gentleman.[8]

Col. Cardozo Luna, head of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, captured a key rebel stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on the 14th of February 2003. The stronghold is located in Buliok complex in Cotabato and Maguindanao, part of a major offensive on the southern island of Mindanao.[15] After the successful campaign, Luna earned his first star as Brigadier General.

Brig. Gen. Cardozo M. Luna, 56th Commandant of the Philippine Military Academy, changed the required uniforms of the cadets from the West Point-inspired military cut to the rayadillo, the same uniform that was designed by Antonio Luna and was worn by the Filipino forefathers during the Philippine revolution against Spain.[18]

The newly installed Central Command chief, Maj. Gen. Cardozo Luna vowed to reduce the threat posed by the New People's Army, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, to an "inconsequential level through simultaneous in-depth operations" in the Visayas region (Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Samar and Leyte). Upon assuming one of the largest military commands in the Philippines on August 2006, Luna issued guidelines for military commanders in the Visayas, that include strengthening of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit battalions, implementation of a long range patrol concept and conduct of regular patrols, effective unit leadership, activation of Civil Military Operations Company and task group, and tapping the services of military reservists, police and local government units as well.[19] he always emphasized the respect for Human Rights in all conduct of military operations.

After a successful stint in the central region of the country in 2006, Eastern Mindanao Command chief, Lt. Gen. Cardozo Luna, together with other top military officials in Mindanao, expressed the need to institutionalize trainings on peace building and conflict management to help bring about peace in the south. However, Luna stressed that peace trainings should be documented and validated by appropriate agencies to see if the trainings and efforts could be replicated by other units. According to Luna, sustaining the peace building efforts should be maintained even after change of commands of military units across the country.[20]

On August 10, 2008, when rogue MILF forces conducted atrocities as a result of the botched Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, military troops led by Lt. Gen. Cardozo Luna, Joint Force Mindanao commander, regained control of two North Cotabato villages from Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels and pressed ahead with a massive assault to clear 13 others. The fighting has forced about 130,000 villagers to flee their homes.[21] On August 28, 2008, Luna lead the invasion of Camp Bilal, a major Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel camp in Lanao del Norte, the headquarters of Commander Macapaar, the leader of the attacks on five Lanao del Norte towns on August 18.[22] During the 73rd Anniversary Ceremony of the AFP at Camp Aguinaldo on December 22, 2008, the Philippine Legion of Honor (PLOH) degree of Commander was awarded to Luna for leading government troops that fought rogue Moro fighters including the successful campaign at Camp Bilal[23] and the Lanao provinces.

Military offices
Preceded by
Col. Arturo Ortiz
Philippine Military Academy - Commandant of Cadets
21 July 2003 - 18 October 2004
Succeeded by
Brig. Gen. Leopoldo Maligalig
Preceded by
Maj. Gen. Alphonsus Crucero
Training and Doctrine Command of the Philippine Army - Commander
25 October 2004 - 07 November 2005
Succeeded by
Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana
Preceded by
Lt. Gen. Samuel Bagasin
4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army - Commanding General
02 November 2005 - 10 August 2006
Succeeded by
Brig. Gen. Jose Barbieto
Preceded by
Lt. Gen. Samuel Bagasin
AFP Central Command - Commander
02 August 2006 - 30 August 2007
Succeeded by
Maj. Gen. Victor Ibrado
Preceded by
Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana
AFP Eastern Mindanao Command - Commander
30 August 2007 - 07 May 2008
Succeeded by
Maj. Gen. Armando Cunanan
Preceded by
Lt. Gen. Antonio Romero
Armed Forces of The Philippines - Vice Chief of Staff
07 May 2008 - 01 May 2009
Succeeded by
Lt. Gen. Rodrigo Maclang

Diplomatic career

Lt. Gen. Cardozo Luna was originally set to retire on the 7th of September 2009 but opted to retire four months early in view of his nomination to the post of the highest ranking Filipino diplomat to the Netherlands. He will serve as the focal person for the Philippines' defense engagements not only in Netherlands but as well as with other countries in Europe.[24]

On May 20, 2009, Cardozo Luna was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with the approval of the Commission on Appointments as the Philippine Ambassador to Netherlands. Along with Luna, President Arroyo has also appointed six new ambassadors to Spain, the United Kingdom, the Vatican, Finland, Brazil and Timor-Leste.[1]

Cardozo Luna assumed the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to The Netherlands, replacing Ambassador Romeo Arguelles, on the 6th of August 2009. Luna intended to make his contribution to further strengthen the existing political, economic, cultural, and security relations between the Philippines and the Netherlands, as well as actively promote peace-making initiatives through multilateral relations.[25]

Ambassador Luna presented his Letter of Credence to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of Netherlands on the 26th of August 2009. After the ceremony, Queen Beatrix invited Luna to a private meeting, discussing bilateral matters between the Philippines and the Netherlands. Luna assured that the relationship between the two countries will be strengthened during his term.[26]

During the PMAAAI 2010 Annual General Membership Meeting held at the Manila Hotel on the 24rd of January 2010, Nicanor A. Bartolome, President of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Inc. (PMAAAI), awarded Ambassador Luna the Cavalier Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his exemplary commitment and dedication to service.[27]

Several Dutch businessmen worked hard to persuade their compatriots to invest in the Philippines during the Philippine Netherlands Business Council (PNBC) meeting on the 9th of July 2010. Ambassador Cardozo Luna supported the testimonies and assured the potential investors that the business is very promising in the Philippines especially in the new government of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. According to Luna, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific gave a projection that the Philippine economy will grow by 3.5% in 2010.[28]

The Philippines marked a milestone after it became a member of the oldest international legal organizations in the Netherlands on the 14th of July 2010. Ambassador Luna transmitted the Instrument of Acceptance of the Statute of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the Act of Accession to the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The documents were signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 29 and June 25 of 2010, respectively. The Philippines officially became the 70th member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the 111th member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.[6]

As part of the public diplomacy efforts of the Philippine Embassy in The Hague, a workshop was conducted on the Philippines’ migrant worker protection laws to the students of the Hague Academy of International Law on July 20, 2010. Ambassador Luna opened the program by citing the Philippines’ membership in the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He also made reference to the directive of President Aquino for the Department of Foreign Affairs and other relevant agencies to be more receptive to the needs and welfare of 8.7 to 11 million overseas Filipino workers.[29]

On September 30, 2010, Ambassador Luna left his post in the Netherlands. After the 3 month extension set by the Department of Foreign Affairs for the non-career envoys under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 25 ambassadors were ordered to report back to the Philippines.[30]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Romeo Arguelles
Philippine Ambassador to The Netherlands
6 August 2009 - 30 September 2010
Succeeded by
To be determined


  1. ^ a b Porcalla, Delon (2007-05-20). "7 new ambassadors named". Philippine Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  2. ^ Guinto, Joel (2008-05-07). "Armed Forces’ No. 2 gives up post to move to DND". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  3. ^ "Defense chief bares appointment of 6 senior officers". Sun Star Manila. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  4. ^ "The Ambassador". Philippine Embassy. 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  5. ^ "AFP chief, vice chief to retire early to serve as ambassadors". GMA News. 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  6. ^ a b "RP Joins The Hague Conference on Private International Law and Permanent Court of Arbitration". Department of Foreign Affairs - Republic of the Philippines. 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  7. ^ "Ambassador Cardozo Manalo Luna Assumes Post in the Netherlands". Philippine Embassy. 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  8. ^ a b "The Commander - Eastern Mindanao Command". EASTMINCOM. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  9. ^ Billacura, Moses (2007-08-31). "E. Mindanao military unit has new head". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  10. ^ "Yano, Luna retire early, take ambassadorial posts". GMA News. 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  11. ^ AFP (2008). "Office of the Vice Chief of Staff, AFP". AFP. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  12. ^ Capino, Alvin (2007-07-06). "Good choices for next Army chief". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  13. ^ "GMA approves appointment of senior military officials". Philippine Star (Yahoo! Philippines). 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  14. ^ Agustin, Marina M. (2008-05-06). "Changing of the Guards in the AFP". Philippine Department of National Defense - Press Release. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  15. ^ a b "Philippines army claims rebel town". BBC News. 2003-02-14. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  16. ^ "507 PMA cadets hold battle field exercises". The Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-05-17. [dead link]
  17. ^ Cabahug-Aguhob, Rutchie (2006-07-15). "4-ID chief lauds Esperon appointment as new AFP chief of staff". Philippine Information Agency. Retrieved 2008-05-17. [dead link]
  18. ^ Billacura, Moses (2004-10-24). "PMA Goes Retro, Sheds Old 'West Point' Inspired Uniform". Philippine Star. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  19. ^ "Army’s ‘thinking general’ eased out with Esperon extension". Visayan Daily Star. 2006-08-07. Retrieved 2009-05-25. [dead link]
  20. ^ Timonera, Bobby (2006-11-06). "Institutionalization of peace training among soldiers pushed". MindaNews. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  21. ^ "Filipino Troops Regain Control of Villages Seized by Muslim Rebels". Fox News. 2008-08-11.,2933,401522,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  22. ^ "AFP overruns MILF camp in Lanao del Norte". GMA News. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  23. ^ "Outstanding AFP officers, soldiers, Pacquiao to be given awards". ABS-CBN News. 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  24. ^ Papa, Alcuin and Aning, Jerome (2007-05-01). "General defends foreign post". Philippine Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  25. ^ Embassy of the Philippines - The Hague, Netherlands (2009-08-13). "Ambassador Cardozo Manalo Luna Assumes Post in the Netherlands". Philippine Embassy. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  26. ^ Embassy of the Philippines - The Hague, Netherlands (2009-08-29). "Ambassador Cardozo Manalo Luna Presents Letter of Credence to Her Majesty The Queen of the Netherlands". Philippine Embassy. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  27. ^ "Official Website of the PMAAAI". PMAAAI. 2010-01-23. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  28. ^ "President Aquino gets nod of Dutch investors". ABS-CBN. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  29. ^ "RP Embassy conducts workshop on Philippine migrant worker protection laws". Department of Foreign Affairs - Republic of the Philippines. 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  30. ^ "25 political envoys leave posts". Sun Star Manila. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 

External links

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