President Benigno S. Aquino III thanked members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) that served the administration of his mother, the late President Corazon C. Aquino, as he recognizes the group's contribution to national development.
"Gagamitin ko na rin po ang pagkakataong ito upang ipaabot ang aking taus-pusong pasasalamat sa pagbabantay ninyo sa aming pamilya at sa pakikibalikat ninyo sa pagsisikap naming magdala ng pagbabago sa ating bansa," the President said in his message during the PSG Reunion circa 1986 to 1992 at Camp Aquinaldo Saturday night.
"Alam ko pong mahihiya kayong iangat ang sariling bangko at sasabihin ninyong ginagawa lang ninyo ang inyong tungkulin. Pero ang totoo po, hanggang sa ngayon, tinatanaw naming pamilya ang napakalalim na utang na loob dahil sa mga sakripisyong dinaanan ninyo noong mga panahong 'yon."
During the birth of the PSG after the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986, the President said it was also the dawn of the promises of new democracy in the country, giving the momentum for the country's progress.
"At habang may PSG masisiguro nating hindi matitisod, hindi malilihis; tuloy-tuloy ang arangkada ng mga plano't paninindigan natin upang sa wakas ay mapitas na ang bunga ng mga pangarap na ipinunla ng taumbayan noong 1986," he said.
The PSG then overcame so many adversities given its meager resources, manpower and capability, the President said. Personnel providing security to the former president have to operate using unconventional techniques to be effective, the President stressed.
According to the President, during the coup d'etat in 1987, the PSG defended the Palace grounds with antiquated equipment, mainly by using World War II era weapons adding that despite the odds, they were able to perform their duties well in defending the Aquino family and the country's democracy.
The PSG's years of facing adversities and challenges made it a stronger, dependable and formidable organization today, the President said.
"Binigay sa atin itong mga eksperyensang ito, lalo tayong tumibay, lalo tayong humusay, lalo tayong gumaling dahil nga may mahalaga kayong bahagi para sa pagsasaayos ng bansang ito," he said.
The organization is also well-respected because it also produced leaders in the military. Many of the officers from the PSG rose to later become chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND), chief of the Philippine National Police and many other positions.
Many officials of the PSG also became members of the civilian government and some are serving as local executives and leaders.
The group providing security to the President was originally organized by President Emilio Aguinaldo after he was elected president in 1897.
The then Department of War, the forerunner of the Department of National Defense, set up the El Cuerpo dela Guardia Presidencial or the Corps of Presidential Guards.
It became the Malacanang Guards during the time of President Manuel L. Quezon. During the presidency of Sergio Osmena it was called Presidential Guards Battalion. And during the administration of President Ramon Magsaysay it was changed to Presidential Security Force.