Presidential Security Group

Presidential Security Group

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Presidential Security Group

caption= Coat of Arms of the PSG
dates= March 6, 1897 - Present
country= flagicon|Philippines Philippines
branch= None [PSG is a joint AFP-PNP service unit]
role= VIP Security, Presidential Protection Service
size= 1 Brigade, 3 Batallions. Total is 4000+ soldiers, police and civilian personnel
command_structure= Under the Office of the President
current_commander= BGen Romeo Prestoza AFP
garrison= Malacañang Palace, Manila
nickname= "The President's Guards","PSG","Presidential Guards"
motto= "Integrity, Service, Excellence"
mascot= Eagle
notable_commanders= Maj Geronimo Gatmaitan PA,LGen Jose Calimlim AFP, BGen Delfin Bangit AFP,Col Rodolfo Diaz PA, Col Hermogenes Esperon Jr. PA, Col Glen Rabonza PA, Col Voltaire Gazmin AFP, BGen Angel Atutubo AFP
anniversaries=March 6
decorations= Presidential Streamer Award,Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge
identification_symbol_label=Unit Patch
identification_symbol=PSG Badge
The Presidential Security Group, known officially as the PSG, is the lead agency tasked in providing security for the President of the Philippines, Vice President of the Philippines, and their immediate families. They also provide protective service for visiting heads of states and diplomats.

Unlike the US Secret Service, the PSG is not required by command to protect presidential candidates. However, former president's and their immediate families received VIP Protection service from the PSG.


Fore Runners of the Service

The PSG and what it is today was derived from a ragtag squad of Filipino rebolusyonarios that Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo created around March 1897, when he was elected President of the revolutionary government.

President Aguinaldo needed armed escorts because he was too wary of the Magdiwang faction of the Katipunan whom his bloc, the Magdaló, had defeated in the election in the previous election. He felt that the President that time should have armed guards to protect him against assassination attempts by the Magdalo group who was still unhappy with their lost in the current electoral exercises.

Aguinaldo’s bodyguards, called escoltas (escorts), were very loyal and always stood out because their rayadillo uniforms. They always stayed with the president wherever he goes and assisted him with his day to day chores as head of state and government.

Just eleven days after Aguinaldo declared independence on June 12, 1898, he established a War Department, the forerunner of what is now known as the Department of National Defense. The department set up the El Cuerpo dela Guardia Presidencial (Corps of Presidential Guards), commanded by then Army Major Geronimo Gatmaitan which was then the very first commander of the Presidential Security Group.

Major Gatmaitan's unit was stationed on a mansion house right beside the Pasig River which now known as the Malacañang Palace.

And on May 22, 1938, President Manuel L. Quezon organized the Malacañang Guards, made up of two to three platoons with a little over a hundred members. Quezon was forced to established such a group when three years earlier there had been an assassination attempt on his life, and his aides wanted a security cordon around him to prevent his foes from trying to assassinate him again.

When World War II broke out in the Philippines, the Japanese occupation forces installed Jose P. Laurel as Philippine president. The Japanese provided security for their appointed president but Japanese soldiers found it demeaning to guard a Filipino Official, so they later provided Laurel with an all-Filipino security escort.

After the war, when Sergio Osmeña took office as president, he organized his own provisional Presidential Guards Battalion that remained in active duty until the time of his predecessor, President Manuel Roxas.

By August 1950 President Elpidio Quirino placed the presidential guards under the control of the Philippine Constabulary and created a separate organization called Malacañang Secret Agents, modelling it after the US Secret Service.

President Ramon Magsaysay changed the laters name to Presidential Security Force (PSF). Carlos P. Garcia then reverted it back to its former name when he assumed the presidency.

During the time of President Diosdado Macapagal, the Presidential Security Agency (PSA)was formally activated, composed of both uniformed and confidential agents.

When Ferdinand Marcos assumed the presidency, the Presidential Security Agency was expanded to the Presidential Security Command, headed by General Fabian Ver. During the time of continuous riotous protests of the 1970s, the Presidential Security Agency was often backed up by units from the Philippine Constabulary, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force and the Metrocom (Metropolitan Command). These units were organized to form Task Force Pasig.

After Marcos was ousted by the 1986 February Revolution Corazon Aquino deactivated the Presidential Security Command in 1986 and replaced it with a leaner yet very sturdy Presidential Security Group with Army Col. Voltaire T. Gazmin as its chief.

During those times the PSG had to start from scratch because the PSC’s headquarters had been looted during the height of the People Power Revolution. All needed facilities needed for it to function were repaired and equipment from various government offices were leased to the PSG so that they could establish their own office.

By 1992 President Fidel V. Ramos appointed then BGen Ismael Villareal AFP as the current PSG commander. Villareal served for four years and was later on succeeded by Col. Jose Calimlim.

Ramos, a former military general, improved the PSG facilities and structural capacities. Its headquarters became a full-fledged military camp that boasted two chapels, their own gymnasium and physical fitness room, nursery and children’s playground for the personnel's children, K-9 doghouse and kennel to house the PSG K9 Unit, apartments for officers and enlisted personnel and beneficiaries and for his personal assistants that are active police and military personnel, a tennis court and a rifle range.

After Joseph Estrada was sworn in on June 30, 1998, he briefly retained Calimlim as PSG Commander before replacing him with Col Rodolfo Diaz PA during the later part of his term.

The Presidential Security Group played their part when renegade soldiers took foothold in the Oakwood Premier Apartment complex in Makati on July 2003 and when a riotous group of Opposition supporters violently charged into the Palace Grounds during the height of the May 1, 2001 riots.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo named Col Glen Rabonza PA to command the PSG. And on January 22, 2002, Col Hermogenes Esperon Jr PA took post as commander. Col Delfin Bangit PA assumed the post on February 10, 2003.

The Best Among the Best

Elite - is an adjective often associated with the Presidential Security Group. They protect the seat of government and should always receive the best training and equipage above all units in the AFP and PNP.

Unlike any other organization whether Police or Military in nature, The PSG has and will always have one primary mission, it is so special in the sense that their job doesn't get a second chance. Their job requires no room for error and that all their movements require perfection to the utmost level of expertise.

During the term of then President Marcos, the Presidential Security Command started their day with various physical exercises. They held daily runs and the troops sharpened their skills in unarmed/ hand to hand combat. It also held drills and practice parades at least once a week to hone their discipline and skill as honor guards.

But training did not stop there for they where indeed elite. They conducted special training for handling firearms, civil-disturbance control, urban guerrilla warfare, jungle warfare, mountain operations, small unit operations, air mobility, amphibious operations and airborne courses.

The courses became even more rigorous after the PSC was downsized to the current unit which is the PSG by President Corazon Aquino. Hurdling the most basic VIP Protection Course, its members advance to Counterter­rorist Action, Combat Assault, Defensive Driving, Basic and Advanced Practical Pistol Shooting, Security Advance Party Procedures, Urban Combat, Special Weapons Training, Special Reaction Training, tae kwon do, Mechanized Infantry Tactics and Crisis Management.

Continuous efforts to professionalize the Presidential Guards continue to this day. Guardsmen train regularly in such specialized courses as Hostage Negotiation, Anti-terrorist Operation, Advanced Explosive Incidents Countermeasures, Maritime Security Reaction, Bomb Detection and Dog Handling. They are trained here and abroad by government agencies in various countries including the US FBI HRT, British SAS, US Delta Force and Israel's Mossad.

All members must and is required to attend the PSG Training School that is situated Baguio City before they are given special assignments in the various sub-units of the command.


* Conduct Personal Protection and Close-in Security to the President, Vice-President, former Presidents, former Vice-Presidents of the Republic of the Philippines and their immediate families.

* To conduct and provide assistance to the AFP and PNP in its anti-organized crime undertakings as per orders from the President.

* To conduct Community Service efforts to local communities and assist the government in raising the standard of living for the Filipino people.

* Maintain and secure all facilities and transportation assets used by the Office of the President and Vice President in doing its regular and non-regular functions.

Lineage of Commanding Officers

* Maj Geronimo Gatmaitan PA March 1897 - ?
* Col Voltaire Gazmin PA
* BGen Ismael Villareal AFP
* Col Jose Calimlim PA
* Col Rodolfo Diaz PA
* Col Glen Rabonza PA
* Col Hermogenes Esperon Jr. PA
* BGen Delfin Bangit AFP
* BGen Romeo Prestoza AFP
* BGen Celedonio Boquiren Jr AFP


* Presidential & Vice Presidential Protective Company
* PNP VIP Protective Services Group
* GHQ Security & Escort Group, AFP
* Marine Security & Escort Group, PN
* Security & Escort Group, PA
* Philippine Air Force Security & Escort Group
* Naval Security & Escort Group, PN
* PSG K9 Company
* PSG Band
* Presidential Guard Battalion
* PSG Special Reaction Unit (DSRRU)
* 250th Presidential Airlift Wing
* AT25 BRP Ang Pangulo


External links

* [ President’s guards: A ‘rayadillo’ tradition, Ma. Theresa Torres, Manila Times, June 20, 2005.]
* [ Official Site of the Presidential Security Group]

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