THE PGBI HISTORY
The group was originated in Iligan City in 1976, as the “DIABLO SQUAD CRIME BUSTER” composed of enlisted man of Philippine Constabulary (PC). It was then Sgt Leborio Hangao, the squad leader who the group known when the original fourteen (14) man agreed in one principle, “WALANG IWANAN, WALANG ATRASAN”.
Since Leborio was the leader, he was known as the founder of the group. DIABLO was meant to foster camaraderie among the members of PC-Integrated National Police (PC-INP) and the Arm Forces of the Philippines .
At that time when Mindanao was known as the battlefield, it was recalled that the PC-INP and AFP would often end up in “mis-encounters”, particularly in Mindanao , because they did not recognized each other.
Creating the group DIABLO solved the problem, each member was required to sport tattoos on his hands (between the thumb and the pointer) as identification marks.
The right hand carried the letter representing the service unit the member belonged to (for example, “N”, for Navy, “M” for Marines, “A” for Air Force, “B” for Army or “G” for police) while the left hand carried the markings for both the service unit and area of assignment (for example, “GM”, for Army in Mindanao ).
The DIABLOS were also self-proclaimed staunch anti-communist and spread out to Visayan Island and Luzon until the time it was known for its controversial participation liquidating their officers/comrades as Anti-Nationalistic. The group operated without any SEC registration except for the unregistered Constitution and By-Laws. By 1982, they were reprimanded by the AFP leadership as illegal group.
DIABLOS sympathized with the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), the group of young military officers led by Honasan. In 1983, the grouped was ordered to disband them as per the order of then Chief of Staff General Fabian Ver. Immediately, Jangao joined others in signing the disbandment order.
When remnants of the group (DSCB) asked the help and advice of then Lt. Col Gregorio B. Honasan, the Aide d’ Camp to Minister Enrile of Defense. Since nobody have the moral fiber to serve as witness with Constitution & By-Laws. Honasan signed the CBL together with a certain MSgt Agustin, his own driver, and the group succeeded to get the nod of Security and Exchange Commission that year and named their group as Guardians Brotherhood Inc. (GBI).
Honasan formed a foundation within the organization so financial funding will become legal move. But several Guardians leaders viewed Honasan created his own group called the Guardians Center Foundation Inc. (GCFI), So, the group divided into two groups, the GBI and the GCFI. The GBI led by a certain Colonel in the Army while GCFI led by Honasan, Bibit, Kapunan and Maligalig.
Honasan was part of the new group, and the GUARDIANS began accepting civilian members into organization three months after the successful coup d’ etat. It was from the ranks of the GCFI, Alcover said, that Honasan drew supports for the several coup attempts that he led against Aquino.
First Coup d’ etat conducted by Honasan and his group was failed. Honasan and his group miscalculate the presence of DPA in the GCFI where some of the member are sympathizing the Yellow Army.
After the first coup in August 1987 failed, they focused recruiting civilians to their ranks and they recruited professionals mostly from the Makati Business Centers.
Between 1988 to 1998, the Guardians grew into nine factions and 13 smaller groups when they considered themselves leaderless due to the non-attending Chairman or unifier. It was only in 1988 that GCFI accelerated recruiting other members from civilian sector called the MAGIC Group. Theory was known and learned that Guardians needs to have the mass base in civilian form like what first EDSA Revolution had. In 1991, Honasan was captured and put in jail and escaped after 10 months of confinement inside the Navy vessel.
This time Guardians involvement in the elections was purely for peaceful related incidents. They were tapped to help Ramos achieve something and relinquish the presidency and succeeded. Ramos became the president of the Philippines . After few months, groups and faction inside Guardians mushroomed up to 22 factions.
Sen Honasan won as a Senator candidate. After three years service in the senate, SGF Gringo attendance wane and nowhere to found during those days and it was early 1998 that he surfaced, and encouraged GCFI to concentrate on the civilian recruitment. HE toured Northern and Southern parts of the Philippines to reactivate all factions.
He won for the second time as Senator and requested all factions to regrouped into one big group and call themselves the reformed GCFI. He invited Guardians Ilocandia under General Dumlao and Maj. Panelo has the biggest strength among Guardians, asked to cooperate with Guardians Mindanao that was based in General Santos City.
Other faction group include the Guardians Binay Group of Makati , Amay Bisaya owned version of Guardians factions having stuntmen under his wing. Guardians H-World under General Royette Padilla. His strength stretching from Nueva Ecija to Camarines Sur. Guardians Brotherhood, Inc under a certain MSgt Yul Seron has a three thousand members.
After the leaders of the major factions called a national convention held at Tacloban city, Leyte , to reintegrate themselves into one group, the PGBI was born as all leaders agreed. But when they brought to Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for registration, SEC advised the leaders of the so-called PGBI to ask all the other leaders to withdraw all existing registrations of GUARDIANS factions so they will issue a unique and single registration number for the unified Guardians. With the demand, leaders of the twenty-two (22) factions withdrew their documents from the Commission and a unique SEC registration was awarded to PGBI as A200008885 dated June 26, 2000 issued in Manila , Philippines .
By that time, Alcover confirmed, there were about 3 million members in all. After short preparations last July 2000. Honasan, a senator by that time, was elected chair and president, while Alcover was named national Vice Chair representing the Visayas.
Last 2001, however, Honasan and several leaders of Guardians, including Alcover had a failing out. PGBI spokesperson Ernie Makahiya told that Alcover and other “Unprincipled Guardians” were expelled in January 2002 for offering politicians their services in exchange for money.
Alcover expelled from the PGBI in April 2002 and formed the NGI in Cebu City . He reactivated his group’s mass base in the name National Alliance for Democracy (NAD), the anti-communist fraternity Alcover founded. For Macahiya, Alcover was expelled and not just left the PGBI. He was considered as undesirable leader since he connived with the present administration.
The NGI has about 15,000 members and 15 Chapters nationwide, Alcover said. He said Honasan’s factions PGBI had about 1,600,000 members, while Guardians Brotherhood, Inc has 5,324 members and Gualberto’s faction GPI has 1,343 members only. Guardians Binay group of Makati was with PGBI as the are providing the close-in-security of the presidentiables POE.
On the last PGBI National Convention, Makahiya said his group still had about 1,630,870 members to be exact, and make it that it was only the PGBI that was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. No Other Guardian factions are legally registered and function to do their business as PGBI do.
Other factions that include the GCFI, headed by Subic Customs Collector Billy Bibit; Guardians Philippines Inc (GPI) headed by Master Sergeant, and Guardians International Inc (GII) under Maj Jangao were joined together and formed the United Guardians Party (UGP) last July 2003.
Written by FRMG Mel Gamet