Col Ruperto A Ambil, Philippine Army

Regarded by many as THE BEST GOVERNOR Eastern Samar ever had, honored by the Diocese of Borongan—and the only government leader so distinguished during its 50th year anniversary–with the “Bishop Reyes Leadership Award” in recognition of his exemplary leadership (“zero corruption, and honest, transparent and sincere leadership”), and known as the first Estehanon to earn the rank of 3-star lieutenant general in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), former Eastern Samar Governor Ruperto Ambil, Jr joined his Creator to receive his eternal reward on July 21, 2012 at the age of 71.

A product of military institutions of excellence (including OCS Portsea, Australia and USACGSC, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, US), Ambil rose from the ranks of Master Sergeant to Lieutenant General. During his 35 years in the military service, he earned numerous medals and awards of recognition, the highest of which were the Philippine Legion of Honor, 4 Distinguished Service Stars and 2 Gold Cross medals. But his formation was not purely military; he also prepared for peace through formal courses in Foreign Service, and earned AB degree and MA in National Security Administration. He received specialized training on the problems and politics of developing countries and management consultancy for small and medium industries at the University of the Philippines Institute of Small Scale Industries.

As a military man, he served as [1] Battalion Commander of the 9th Infantry (Sandigan) Battalion, which he organized, trained and commanded in the fiercest battle in Jolo, Basilan, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga de Norte from 1974 and 1979; [2] Deputy Commander for Civil-Military Operations of Regional Unified Command 8; [3] Faculty Member at the AFP Command and General Staff College; [4] Brigade Commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, earning his 1st Star; [5] Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserved Affairs and Retirees at GHQ; [6] Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division, introducing the persuasive approach to the insurgency problem; [7] Commander of the AFP Forces in the Visayas (Regions 6,7 and 8) or VISCOM, earning his 2nd Star; and [8] Commander of the Southern Command, the most sensitive and biggest command of the AFP which consisted of air, naval, ground and police forces in the whole Mindanao (Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, ARRM, CARAGA), during which tenure he was promoted to Lt. General.

Governor Ambil was a man of faith. He was a regular Sunday Mass churchgoer. When he was governor, he used to lead the provincial government heads in coming to the Borongan Cathedral for Sunday Mass, after which they had breakfast and held informal meeting at the Merchweiler Hall. While he was serving the AFP, he built chapels, raised crosses and, being a Marian devotee, pursued the grotto project in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary in every patron base in Samar island, and in the Visayas and Mindanao.

That he was aware of his civic duties could be seen in his membership in several organizations, including the UP Vanguard Incorporated, Beta Sigma Alumni Association, Knights of Rizal, Rotary Club, Philippine Eagles, Association of Generals and Flag Officers, Alumni of Royal Military Schools (ARMS), Boy Scout of the Philippines, Veterans Federation of the Philippines, Sandigan Battalion Brotherhood, and Fraternal Organization of ROTC, Reservists and Veterans.

LGen Ruperto Ambil served as the 4th Governor of Eastern Samar from 1998 to 2001. As chief executive, he improved the provincial government organization and emphasized workable Development Plans and Empowerment of the Barangay. Provincial government employees used to recall that when he descended from his office as governor, Lt Gen Ambil, in a manner without precedent, left about P70 million at the coffers for the use of the incoming set of provincial officials. At the time of his demise, he was Chair, UP-UP Samar Island Movement, Inc.; Chair, BSP Eastern Samar Council; Post Commander, Borongan Veterans Post; District Commander, Eastern Samar Veterans District; Chapter Commander, Knights of Rizal Borongan; and National Chair, Fraternal Organization of ROTC, Reservists and Veterans (FORVETS).

Ruperto Ambil, Jr was born on January 18, 1941 in Cagayan de Oro City to Dr Ruperto Ambil and Sabina Asis of Borongan.