/ 3 July 2021

AN ALUMNA of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine has the distinction of being the first female surgeon general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Colonel Fatima Claire Navarro was named the 56th surgeon general of the AFP. Her appointment order was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 28.

Navarro replaced Col. Nelson Pecache who retired after 30 years in the military service.

“I dream of an AFP health service that the soldiers can rely on and that the Filipino people can continue to count on. An AFP health service that will save lives, heal wounds and continuously give hope,” she  said in a statement.

Navarro obtained her medical degree from UST in 1992. She took her postgraduate medical internship at the AFP Medical Center until 1993.

Navarro served as head of the Victoriano Luna Medical Center and as chair of the Hospital Infection Control Committee from 2009 to 2020.

At the height of the pandemic, Navarro served as the deputy commander of the AFP Regional Task Force National Capital Region Comprehensive and Responsive Elements.

As surgeon general, she will lead the AFP’s vaccination efforts and operations against Covid19 and supervise the medical treatment facilities and services of the military.

Navarro will also serve as the special medical adviser of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.