The PSG today is a far cry from the ragtag squad that Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo formed around March 1897, when he was elected President of the revolutionary government.
Aguinaldo needed armed escorts because he was wary of the Magdiwang faction of the Katipunan whom his bloc, the Magdalo, had defeated in the election.
Aguinaldos bodyguards, called escolta (escorts), were fiercely loyal and stood out in their rayadillo uniforms.
Eleven days after Aguinaldo declared independence on June 23, 1898, he established a Department of War, the forerunner of the Department of National Defense. The department set up the El Cuerpo dela Guardia Presidencial (Corps of Presidential Guards), commanded by Major Geronimo Gatmaitan.
The PSG chief, Brig. Gen. Delfin Bangit, said the El Cuerpo dela Guardia Presidencial was stationed inside the Malacanang ground.
On May 22, 1938, President Manuel L. Quezon organized the Malacanang Guards, made up of two to three platoons with a little over a hundred members. Three years earlier there had been an assassination attempt on Quezon, and his aides wanted a security cordon around him to prevent his foes from trying again.
During the Second World War, the Japanese occupation forces installed Jose P. Laurel as president. The Japanese must have considered having Japanese soldiers guarding a Filipino leader as demeaning, so they provided Laurel with an all-Filipino security escort.
When Sergio Osmena took over as president, he organized a provisional Presidential Guards Battalion that remained until the time of his predecessor, Manuel Roxas.
In August 1950 President Elpidio Quirino placed the presidential guards under the Philippine Constabulary and created a separate organization called Malacanang Secret Agents, perhaps taking a cue from US Secret Service.
President Ramon Magsaysay changed the name of the Presidential Guards Battalion to Presidential Security Force. Carlos P. Garcia got back the old name when he assumed the presidency.
During the time of Diosdado Macapagal, the Presidential Security Agency was formed, composed of both uniformed and confidential elements.
When Ferdinand Marcos assumed power, the Presidential Security Agency was expanded to the Presidential Security Command. During the riotous protests of the 1970s, the Presidential Security Agency was often reinforced by units from the Constabulary, Army, Navy and the Metrocom (Metropolitan Command). These reinforcements were organized into Task Force Pasig.
Corazon Aquino disbanded the Presidential Security Command in 1986 and replaced it with a leaner Presidential Security Group with Army Col. Voltaire T. Gazmin as its chief.
The PSG had to start from scratch because the PSC’s headquarters had been looted at the height of the People Power Revolution.
In 1992 President Fidel V. Ramos appointed Brig. Gen. Ismael Villareal PSG commander. Villareal served for four years and was succeeded by Col. Jose Calimlim. President Ramos, a former military man, improved the PSG facilities. Its headquarters became a full-fledged camp that boasted two chapels, a gymnasium and physical fitness room, nursery and children’s playground, K-9 doghouse, apartments from enlisted personnel, a tennis court, rifle range and a house for golf caddies (Ramos is an avid golfer).
When Joseph Estrada was sworn in on June 30, 1998, he briefly retained BGEN CALIMLIM before replacing him with COLONEL RODOLFO DIAZ PN(M)GSC.
HER EXCELLENCY GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO named COLONEL GLEN RABONZA PA(GSC) to head the PSG. On January 22, 2002, COL HERMOGENES C ESPERON JR PA(GSC) took over as Commander. COLONEL DELFIN N BANGIT PA (GSC)assumed the post on February 10, 2003. COLONEL ROMEO C PRESTOZA PAF(GSC) took over as Commander PSG on 12 July 2007 to 05 June 2008 and BRIGADIER GENERAL CELEDONIO B BOQUIREN JR AFP took over on 05 June 2008 to 12 March 2009 and on 12 March 2009 COLONEL JONAS CONDE SUMAGAYSAY PA(GSC) assumed as the new PSG Commander.
After PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON COJUANCO AQUINO III took oath as President on 30 June 2010, COL RAMON MATEO U DIZON PA (GSC) assume as the new Commander, PSG on 01 July 2010 – present.