12th Secretary of National Defense
June 11, 1959 to December 3, 1961
Alejo S. Santos was a banker, soldier. He was born on July 17, 1911 in Bustos, Bulacan to Pedro Santos and Regina Santos.
Santos finished his Bachelor of Science in Education at the University of Manila in 1932 and studied at the Training School for Reserve Officers, 1938.
He first served as Prison Guard with the Bureau of Prisons, 1933-34, Patrolman with the Manila Police Department, 1934-41; Commanding officer, "C" Company, 31st Infantry Philippine Army, 1938-1942; was an officer of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE); founder and organizer of the Bulacan Military Area (Guerilla), 1945 at the height of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.
He was one of the defenders of Bataan during the Second World War. He served as military governor of Bulacan (1945-1946); and was elected and served two terms as Congressman (1946-1953) and Bulacan provincial governor, also for two terms (1951-1958).
He served as Commissioner of the Reparations Commission, 1968-59; Chairman of the Philippine Veterans Bank; Secretary of National Defense under President Carlos P. Garcia in 1959-61; Secretary for Anti-Crime Coordination (with Cabinet rank) and concurrent Director of the Bureau of Prison, 1967-71.
He was recognized Brigadier General by the U.S. Army; and was a holder of various awards from the government, military and associations for meritorious and exemplary service to the Philippine Government.
Santos was a Brigadier General in the Reserve Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As a founder and organizer of the Bulacan Military Area (BMA) Veterans Association, Philippine Council for World Freedom; commander of the American Legion, Philippine Department; chairman of the General Douglas McArthur Memorial Foundation;
Chairman of the Out-of-School Youth Program for Bulacan; life member of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines; past national president of the Reserve Officers Legion of the Philippines, 1958-61; and past chairman, PAAF Basketball Committee.Santos was married to Juanita Garcia in 1934 and had eight children: Reynaldo, Edgardo, Ravenal, Lamberto, Liberty, Daisy, Nenita and Alexis. He succumbed to a heart attack on February 18, 1984 at the Mt. Banawe Hospital in Quezon City.