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Title Page
COMMONWEALTH ERA (1935-1946) 17
WORLD WAR II (1941-1945)
MARTIAL LAW ERA (1972-1981) 39
(1981- to present)


The Philippine National Police - Communications and Electronics Service (PNP-CES) traces its humble beginnings at the turn of the 20th century from the American Expedition forces. It played a very vital role in the gaining of the Philippines Independence and the maintenance of the peace and order in the country in various eras. Originally, it was known as the “SIGNAL CORPS” which contributed in the success of all military operations and in the development of the communications systems and facilities of the police force. The accomplishments by the Signal Corps is apt for to the adage that: 1


In the early years (1860s), the Signal Corps had fallen behind in the field of military communications. Although the army still used flags and torches to convey information, the rapidly developing technology of the late nineteenth century carried communications into the electrical age. The Signal Corps’ role in the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the subsequent Philippine Insurrection was on a grander scale. The first battle was in the sea near the Philippines where on May 1, 1898, Commodore George Dewey defeated the Spanish squadron. Communications difficulties hampered Washington’s ability to direct operations in the Philippines nearly ten thousand miles away. As volunteer troops from Western States as well as some Regular Army units gathered at San Francisco, USA to sail for the Philippines, Maj Gen Wesley Meritt assumed

command of what eventually became known as the VIII Army Corps. Recognizing the necessity of communications, Meritt requested the signal soldiers, especially those who could speak Spanish to accompany his troops.

By that time, Adolphus Greely was the Chief of the Signal Corps (He succeeded Brigadier General Albert James Myer – the first chief and founder of the Signal Corps 1860-1880). Greely commented the Signal Corps was “fortunate in the linguistic acquirements of its officers” he could comply with the Meritt’s wishes. With Spanish forces concentrated in the Caribbean, the Philippines lay vulnerable to attack. After the Merrit’s forces took control of the Manila Bay by destroying the relatively weak Spanish squadron on May 1, 1898 they finally arrived in Manila on 30 June 1898 which signaled the start of the establishment of Signal Corps in the Philippines.

The First Volunteer Signal Company which was the first signal unit to land in the Philippines, arrived at Manila Bay on 31 July 1898. The next day it began the construction of a telegraph line to connect Cavite, the base of supply, with the American troops stationed outside Manila. Working in heavy rains and excessive heat, the task was not an easy one. Difficulties notwithstanding, the company completed the job on August 5, 1898. The 18th Volunteer Signal Company arrived on 24 August to assist with the establishment and maintenance of telegraph and telephone lines.

Although the protocol signed on 12 August called for a cease-fire on all fronts, the troops in the Philippines did not receive the news for several days because of the severed cable. Thus, the armies fought the Battle of Manila on 13 August after peace had been declared. Like the Battle of New Orleans fought and won

eighty-five years earlier by Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson after the formal conclusion of hostilities, the Battle of Manila occurred solely as a result of the slowness of communications. Because the Spanish could not successfully defend Manila, they made arrangements with the Americans to surrender after a token resistance. According to the agreement, the insurgents were not allowed to enter the city. All commanders had not been apprised of the arrangement, however, and hard fighting in several sectors resulted in some casualties. Having salvaged their honor, the Spanish finally surrendered, bringing the war to an end.

During the Battle of Manila, signal detachments served with each division and brigade commander, with one held in reserve. Another

detachment ran an insulated wire along the beach as the troops advanced. Signalmen maintained communication with the Navy with flags, which they also used to direct naval gunfire against the Spanish positions.

Within fifteen minutes after the troops seized the Spanish lines, the Signal Corps ran its telegraph wires to the front. As Capt. Elmore A.McKenna, commander of the 1st Volunteer Signal Company, reported, “A red and a white flag of the Signal Corps were the first American emblems shown within the Spanish entrenchments, being there some minutes before the Spanish flag was pulled down and the American flag run up in its place.”

The government’s Dodge Commission, which investigated the conduct of the war, concluded that “the work accomplished by the Signal Corps was of great aid to the army in the field and very efficient in maintaining communication in all of the camps. Despite the hardships of the war, signalmen had “filled neither the guardhouse nor the hospital.” In his words:

“Battles may be fought and epidemics spread, but speedy communications must nevertheless be maintained.”

The peace negotiation between Spain and the United States was in the late September 1898. By the treaty of Paris, signed in December 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines and other territories to the United States. In return, the United States gave Spain $20 Million. United States president William McKinley then issued a proclamation declaring US policy to be one of the “benevolent assimilation” which signaled the Philippine-American War as the Filipino refused to recognize the transfer of sovereignty. And this signaled the However, the fighting broke out on February 4, 1899.

The next day a signal officer, 1st Lt. Charles E. Kilbourne, Jr. (son of the inventor of the outpost cable cart), distinguished himself at Paco Bridge, in a suburb of Manila. Under enemy fire he climbed a telegraph pole to repair a broken wire, reestablishing communication with the

front. For this feat he became the third Signal Corpsman to win the Medal of Honor.

American commissioners arrived in March primarily to act as a fact-finding body for President McKinley in preparation for the establishment of a civil government. On 4 April 1899 they issued a proclamation intended to convince the Filipinos of America’s good intentions. It included a pledge to construct a communications network throughout the archipelago. The Signal Corps, under Maj. Richard E. Thompson and his successor Lt. Col. James Allen, became responsible for installing this system, which entailed laying cables between the principal islands. In addition to the permanent lines, the Corps ran temporary lines to accompany the troops in the field. Because the two volunteer signal companies still serving in the Philippines could not handle the expanded duties, a third company was formed out of personnel drawn from the two existing companies as well as from other units. Each company operated with a division, forming detachments as needed for a variety of

duties. The 18th Company, serving with Maj. Gen. Arthur MacArthur along the railroad from Manila to Dagupan, became railway dispatchers. As the volunteer signal units were gradually mustered out, Regular Army units replaced them.

The Signal Corps labored under adverse conditions. Lack of roads hindered the transportation of material and equipment; the terrain was often either jungle or swamp. To facilitate transportation, signalmen used carabao, or water buffalo, as pack animals. When possible, they employed either Filipino laborers who were friendly to the Americans or Chinese coolies as porters and linesmen. Wooden poles required constant repairs because they rotted in the intense heat or were destroyed by ants.

The tropical climate, with its alternate wet and dry seasons, caused the soldiers physical discomfort and exposed them to indigenous diseases, such as malaria and amebic dysentery. The insurgents posed the greatest danger,

however, incessantly sabotaging the lines and ambushing the soldiers who came to fix them. Armed escorts often accompanied the signal parties to provide protection, as the signalmen carried only revolvers.

Perhaps the most ambitious job undertaken by the Signal Corps was the laying of submarine cables between the major islands. (Although a British firm, under concession from Spain, had already constructed cables between many of the islands, the Army needed its own system.) Other forms of communication were too slow, with mail sometimes taking two to four months to travel from one island to another. In some areas the Signal Corps conducted inter-island communication by heliograph and the newly adopted acetylene lantern. The transport Hooker, having been outfitted by the Quartermaster Department, arrived in the Philippines in June 1899 to begin cable-laying operations. While the Corps had received some experience with underwater cables in Cuba, it obtained assistance for the Philippine project from professional cable engineers. Unfortunately, on the way to Hong Kong to

obtain coal, the Hooker was wrecked on a reef near Corregidor. Luckily, most of the cable and machinery were saved, and in April 1900 a second ship, the Romulus, began laying the recovered cable. With the arrival of the Burnside in December 1900, the Corps extended its system, laying over 1,300 miles of cable connecting the principal islands of the archipelago by June 1902.

However, by early 1900 organized Filipino resistance had declined markedly. Despite American control of most of the provinces on Luzon, which was Aguinaldo’s home and the center of the independence movement, guerrilla warfare continued and the pacification of the entire archipelago proceeded slowly. It was difficult for the Americans to tell friend from foe: The insurgents posed as civilians by day and took up arms at night. The hundreds of raids and ambushes mounted by the guerrillas cost the Americans dearly in casualties. With the eventual capture of the elusive leader of the first Philippine Republic, General Emilio Aguinaldo on March 23, 1901, the event signaled the end of the

Filipino-American War. The restoration of peace and order in the Philippines remained a vexing problem to the colonizing Americans. With the capture of Aguinaldo in March 1901, guerrilla activity subsided but did not cease. Given the improving conditions in the islands, the Army shed its governmental responsibilities, and William Howard Taft became the civil governor in June 1901.


The establishment of a Civilian Government by Americans in the year 1901 did not hinder the goal of the Signal Corps in establishing vital communication systems and facilities that will be beneficial for the Philippine government in its attainment and preservation of peace and independence. Indeed, the Signal Corps still work hand-in-hand with the U.S. Army as partners in all activities and operations even in the organization of Insular Police Force pursuant to Organic Act No. 175 “An Act Providing for the Organization and Government of an Insular Constabulary and for the Inspection of the Municipal Police”. By that time, the designated Chief of Constabulary was Henry T Alien (U.S. Volunteer in the Philippines) and the existence of the volunteer signal companies is still at large.

A gradual transfer of the Signal Corps’ communications system to the civil government began in 1902. This was

followed by the Filipinization of the Constabulary with the appointment of General Rafael Crame as PC Chief in 1917. From then on, all of the enlisted men were Filipinos, taken, as a rule, from the locality in which they are to serve.

In the middle of 1930’s, when Col Paciano C Tangco (then a Major) first attempted to provide signal communications for the AFP by improvising homemade radio sets for the Philippine Constabulary (PC) field operatives. The PC was engaged in an intensified campaign against the notorious Asedillo-Encallado bandit groups operating in Tayabas Quezon (now Quezon).


Prior to the establishment of the Common Wealth of the Philippines, the United Stated Army had maintained a force in the Philippines. This force was composed mostly of native Filipinos and led by US officers, including a US general, Gen Douglas MacArthur. This force was the Philippine Department. With the exception of the Philippine Constabulary, the region had no forces.

The National Defense Act or Commonwealth Act No. 1 on December 1935, was enacted creating the Philippine Army and this ended the 35 years of service and experience of the Philippine Constabulary as an insular police force. Thus, the Philippine Constabulary became the nucleus of the nation’s defense force, for it was the only well-disciplined armed organization in being at the time.

The Philippine Constabulary personnel and duties were transferred to the control

of the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army pursuant to Executive Order No 11 dated January 11, 1936.

Shortly after the passage of the National Defense Act and Executive Order No 11, the AFP Signal Corps was created somewhere in 1936 as one of the technical services of the Philippine Army (PA). It was given the mission of establishing signal communications in the ten (10) military districts of the country. During that year,the current Chief of the Signal Corps was COL PACIANO TANGCO PA.

Inspite of the scarcity of equipment, the AFP Signal Corps showed commendable Services during the outbreak of World War II. Among the notable feats was that of the team of Col Angelo Frago who established a secret

communications link between Manila and Corregidor right under the noses of the Japanese Imperial Army in Manila. It was also the signal unit of Panay Guerilla Forces under then CPT AMOS M FRANCIA that established contact with a maritime section in San Francisco, California, operating under the US department.

WORLD WAR II (1941-1945)

The outbreak of war in the early 1940s saw the PC join the United States Army Forces in the Far East in defense of the Philippines against the Japanese invasion. Since then, the PC was part of a military organization.

In June 1945, Military Police Command was made a nucleus of the AFP.

Four (4) signal units were organized on August 1, 1945, for the service in the projected operation against the Japanese mainland. These units were Signal Operations, the Signal Light Construction Battalion, the Signal Base Depot Company and the 1st Signal Company, PA.

Two (2) of the four (4) Signal units of were deactivated in September 1945, when the war ended with the surrender of Japan. Only the Signal Operations Battalion and the 1st Signal Company, PA remained.

During the battle of Bataan, the men of Signal Corps displayed rare brand of courage by dashing in numerous battleground to repair damaged wires. Indeed, the Signal Corps managed to render outstanding performance until the surrender of Bataan and Corregidor, despite of limited resources.

The fall of Bataan was not the end of hostilities insofar as the AFP Signal Corps was concerned. Major Francia (who later became Brigadier General) and the late Brigadier General Macario Peralta organized the first guerilla unit in the Visayas. The Guerilla unit was also the first resistance outfit to have established radio contact with the American Forces in the Western Pacific (AFWESPAC) under Gen Douglas Mac Arthur based in Australia. The contact with AFWESPAC effected the transshipment of military supplies and Allied Bureau Personnel from Australia to the Philippines via US submarines. One of those dispatched to the Philippines on a secret mission was the late Col Jesus Villamor of the defunct Philippine Army Air Corps (now the Philippine Air Force).

Somewhere in the year 1941 the designated Chief Signal officer of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) was Col JUAN E ARROYO until 1942.

The vital information regarding the strength and disposition of the enemy fed to AFWESPAC by then CPT Frago precipitated the conquest of Bataan and Corregidor by the American Liberation in early 1945 in fulfillment of Mac Arthur’s promise to return. During this period, the current PC Signal Officer was COL JUAN E ARROYO.


In anticipation of a protracted war with Japan after liberation of the country several Signal Corps units were activated: the 1st Signal Operations, 1st Signal Light Construction Batallion, 1st Signal Base Depot Company and the 1st Signal Company, PA. During this time, the Military Place Command (MPC) AFPWESPAC was slowly being reverted to its mother unit, the Philippine Constabulary. Consequently, extensive communications network linking General Headquarters with subordinate units was being established through a joint Filipino-American effort. The network was to be manned by the personnel of the Signal Service Group (Comp), MPC, PA under Col Juan Arroyo (then Major). The network played the significant role of transmitting election messages and returns during the first post-war election in November 1946.

The MPC Signal Corps installed and operated a broadcasting station ”KAIMP” (Voice of Peace and Order) to support the psychological warfare activities of the

corps. It served as a medium for disseminating important information and announcements nationwide to MPC, PA Personnel.

The need for the expansion and improvement of the existing network prompted communications to support such project in 1947. Among the significant developments and improvements to note include: the acquisition of AFWESPAC Signal Corps School buildings and facilities, the stockpiling of the signal equipment turned-over by the AFWESPAC, the activation of the Signal Branch, Philippine Ground Force and the organization of the Signal Intelligence Service. Later on, manual telephone systems were replaced by XYPABX systems and HF radio circuits were replaced by multi channel VHF radio systems.

The Office of the Chief Signal Officer (OTCSO) was first organized pursuant to Central General Staff Circular Nr SC-1-34, Hqs Army of the Philippines dated 05 May 1947. During this period, the activation of the Signal School was made possible

after the Armed Forces in the West Pacific (AFPWESPAC) turned over buildings and facilities being used by the Signal Training School at Polo, Bulacan. Furthermore, the Signal Operations Battalion again transferred to Santolan Road about a kilometer from the HPA. During that time, the battalion had an authorized strength of 26 officers and 575 enlisted men organized into Hqs and Hqs Detachment. Alpha (Wire) Company, Bravo (Radio & Message Center) Company and Medical Detachment.

On October 1947, the Signal Intelligence Service was activated with its Hqs also located at Camp Marulas, Polo, Bulacan. This was followed by the merging of the Signal Operations Battalion and the 1st Signal Company, PA on December 17, 1947. During this period, the 1st Signal Company, PA was deactivated and absorbed as Charlie (Heavy Construction) Company of the Signal Operations Battalion pursuant to Philippine Army TOE 11-95. The authorized strength of the battalion, however, was reduced to 22 officers and 352 enlisted men.

The Signal Operations Branch was deactivated and in its place the Signal Battalion was activated with the first commander MAJ ARMANDO MEDEL in Camp Murphy on January 22, 1948. It was organized into four (4) operating companies namely: ALPHA Company, which was responsible for the installation, maintenance and operation of Camp Murphy Telephone System; BRAVO Company, which was in charge of the AFP radio network including teletype service; CHARLIE Company, which was responsible for the cable construction and maintenance not only for the Camp Murphy cable system but also in support of cable construction on other AFP Camps; DOG Company, whish was tasked for the repair of all types of signal equipment and in charge of photographic and public address system coverage, and HQS & HQS COMPANY which was tasked for the direction, personnel, training and logistic support for the operating units.

On July 22, 1948, a Signal Repair Company with a strength of 3 Officers and 50 enlisted men was added to the Signal Service Battalion pursuant to General Order

Nr 322, Hqs, National Defense Force dated 22 July 48 enlarging the battalion to five (5) companies, namely: Hqs & Hqs Company, Alpha (Wire) Company, Bravo (Radio and Message Center) Company, Charlie (Heavy Construction) Company, and Delta (Signal Repair) Company.

The strength of Signal Service Battalion was reduced anew to 17 officers and 263 enlisted men on November 19, 1948. Furthermore, it was moved again to Camp Diliman on August 9, 1949 when the US Army Quartermaster Depot vacated the place. It was LTC PACIANO TANGCO JR who accepted the camp from the US Army.

The development of the AFP fixed communication system has started in the year 1950. Voice communications became operational between Camp Murphy (Quezon City), Camp Lapu-Lapu (Cebu City), Camp Evangelista (Cagayan de Oro) and Fort Del Pilar (Baguio City). In addition to this, the pneumatic conveyor system and the first automatic (dial) telephone system was installed in Camp Murphy. Typical teletype equipment during the period was the

FGC-25X, GGC-3, and the TT-photographic and public address system coverage and other communication support missions of the Battalion. As a result, more personnel were called since the expansion of Signal Service Battalion to fill the requirements of its four (4) operating units.

The Battalion provided the basic military training while further signal specialization were undertaken by the Signal School at Camp Marulas, Polo, Bulacan.

On December 26, 1956, the Alpha and Bravo Companies of Signal Service Battalion were relocated from Camp Diliman to Camp Murphy to facilitate the operation and maintenance of the GHQ COMCENTER and transmitting station at Camp Murphy.

The Military Police Command became the Philippine Constabulary by virtue of Executive Order No. 308 dated 30 March 1950.

Despite of the early birth, it was only on September 1955 that the organization of

the PC Signal Corps was formalized.

It is interesting to note that in 1955, the PC was emasculated. The Provincial Commands were placed under the respective Military Area Commanders. The CPC only remained command over HC units. In communications, HPC had only telephones at the different offices, a teletype machine at AG, HPC connected to GHQ Com Center, and local courier service.

During this year, the Chief of the PC Signal Corps was COL AUGUSTO F GUTIERREZ . He rendered valuable service for about five years and was replaced in the year 1960.

With the appointment of GEN MANUEL F CABAL as CPC, the situation was drastically reversed. HPC took complete command and control of the Huk campaign, so that the Military Area Commands were under HPC. Consequently, HPC had to provide the signal communication means. GEN CABAL earmarked then LTC AUGUSTO F GUTIERREZ, then the Signal Officer of the 1st Military Area for the position of PC Chief Signal Officer.

COL GUTIERREZ picked out a complement of thirty (30) technically trained enlisted personnel from the 1st and 2nd Military Areas to take care of the PC communications needs. They were placed under the command of CAPT TEOTIMO G JUAN, who started the groundwork for radio and teletype circuits (land line circuit each to Olivas and Canlubang and radio teletype circuit each to Cebu City and Cagayan De Oro City). Thereafter, the PC successfully commanded and controlled the units in the Huk campaign and other tasks related to peace and order drive at the time as well as the 1955 elections. Other accomplishments included the creation of the TRAFCON (now CHPG) communication system and the conduction of the initial planning stages of the PC automatic telephone system.

From then on, a series of reorganization took placed in the PC Signal Corps to keep pace with the rapid build-up of forces in the Constabulary. The Office of the PC Chief Signal Officer was created pursuant to GO No. 29, HPC dtd Sep 55. The creation of a Communication Platoon was formalized pursuant to GO No. 44, HPC dtd

12 Mar 58. The unit was organic to Hqs Svc Coy, HPC, but was operationally under the PC Chief Signal Officer.

The Communication Platoon became a Signal Company and subsequently activated pursuant to Section IV, GO No 159, GHQ AFP, dtd 9 Oct 58 with an authorized strength of two (2) officers and eighty (80) enlisted personnel. Likewise, Signal Coys were constituted pursuant to approve TOE 11-1OP, GHQ AFP, dtd 1 Oct 58. These Zone Signal Coys were under the technical supervision of the PC Chief Signal Officer.

In the year 1960, the designated Chief of the PC Signal Corps was COL ARMANDO V MEDEL.

The construction of various buildings for the AFP long lines stations and camp communication facilities reeled off. Among these were the Manila Zone Center Building, the proposed hub of long distance telephone and telegraph communication of

the AFP network and the GHQ COMCENTER building at Camp Aguinaldo (formerly Camp Murphy).

In mid-1963, Signal Service Battalion was reorganized internally. Bravo Company was deactivated and in its place the Signal Long Lines Company was likewise re designated as Command Signal Operations Company (August 20, 1962).

He was replaced by COL LEONARDO A MAYUGA in the year 1962 and serves the Corps until 1966.

In 1964, a new 12-channel VHF TRC-24 (50-1875MHz) radio relay systems replaced the old 4-channel TRC-1 (70 - 100 MHz) system and significantly improved the communications network. Radio relay stations were established at Mt Banoy in Batangas, Mt Sibuyan in Romblon, Mt Mauyong in Cebu and Mt Kitanglad in Bukidnon to link Manila Zone Center to the 3rd PC Zone/3rd Military Area at Camp

Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City and 4th PC Zone/4th Military Area at Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro.

Pursuant to Section 11, GO No 45, HPC, dtd 13 Sep 66, Hqs Sig Svc & Spt Grp was constituted effective 1 Oct 66. It had an authorized strength ofsix (6) officers and eighteen (18) enlisted personnel. The unit was composed of five (5) Sig Svc & Spt Bns. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th sig Svc & Spt Bns were assigned to their corresponding PC Zones, while the 5th Sig Svc & Spt Bn was assigned at HPC to serve as working arm of the PC Signal Officer.

During this year (1966), the designated Chief of the PC Signal Corps was COL FLORENCIO G BERNARDO and he served the Corps until 1967.

Together with the National Power Corporation, the unit rolled out 96,000 feet of high tension lines. It is the Signal Corps’ share in the electrification thrust of the government.

In 1967, Hqs Svc & Spt Grp was unfilled and the Office of the Chief Signal Officer was constituted with an authorized strength of three (3) officers and four (4) enlisted personnel pursuant to Secs I & II, GO No 113, HPC, dtd 22 Nov 67. The five (5) Sig Svc & Spt Bns were reduced to company size and remained under the technical supervision of the Office of the Constabulary Chief Signal Officer (OCC-SO).

With the advent of Communications-Electronics in the AFP, the Office of Constabulary Chief Signal Officer (OCC-SO) was renamed Office of the Constabulary Chief Communications-Electronics (OCC COMMEL). The Office of the Zone Chief Communications-Electronics(OZCC-E) was likewise created at the four (4) PC Zones. The artery of the Communications-Electronics passes down to the communications section of the PC TFs, PC Provl Comds, PC Bns andcommunications teams of PC line companies and detachments.

In the year 1958, the high frequency (HF) radio links were upgraded into 4-channel very high frequency (VHF) radio

relay systems using the military type radios TRC-1. This was the beginning of the transition from the old HF system to the newer VHF system. The network extended from Manila to Baguio in the north and from Manila to Cagayan de Oro in the south.

This was followed by the approval of Plan FORESIGHT SIERRA (1959) by the Chief of Staff and work commenced earnestly under the Systems Engineering Agency (SEA), then attached to the Officer of the Chief Signal Officer.

The construction of various buildings for the AFP long lines stations and camp communication facilities reeled off in 1960. Among these were the Manila Zone Center Building, the proposed hub of long distance telephone and telegraph communication of the AFP network and the GHQ COMCENTER building at Camp Aguinaldo (formerly Camp Murphy).

In mid-1963, Signal Service Battalion was reorganized internally. Bravo Company was deactivated and in its place the Signal Long Lines Company was likewise re

designated as Command Signal Operations Company (August 20, 1962).

The activation of Signal Long Lines Company under Signal Service Battalion was on September 1, 1963. Upon its activation, four (4) channel radio relay circuits were extended to the South connecting GHQ and Hqs, 3rd Military Area in Cebu through relay stations in Mt Banoy in Batangas, Mt Giting-Giting in Sibuyan Island, and Mt Kitanglad in Bukidnon

In response to the increasing AFP requirements, a US Army mobile team arrived to conduct in-service training on 12-channel VHF radio set AN/TRC-1 equipment. The training took about three (3) months after which AFP propagation and installation teams were dispatched to northern Luzon, Mindanao and Mindanao to install and operate the equipment at the designated terminal and relay sites.

The Manila Zone Center was completed on November 1963, paving the way for the transfer of the Signal Long Lines

Company from Camp Aguinaldo to Fort Bonifacio.

In the year 1964, new 12-channel VHF TRC-24 radio relay systems replaced the old 4-channel TRC-1 system and significantly improved network. Radio relay stations were established in Mt Banoy (Batangas), Mt Sibuyan (Romblon), Mt Mauyong (Cebu) and Mt Kitanglad (Bukidnon) to link Manila Zone Center to the 3rd PC Zone/3rd Military Area in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City and 4th PC Zone/4th Military Area in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro. Thus, the Signal Long Lines Company was detached from the Signal Service Battalion and was made a separate unit under the Signal Service Group which later became Communications-Electronics Group on 01 March 65. It was organized/activated replacing the defunct Signal Service Group. Personnel of the newly organized unit under Commel Group came from the Signal Service Battalion.

A signal Construction Company was provisionally organized on June 16, 1967 which was tasked to undertake the biggest

civic action activity of the Commel Group. This company of 3 officers, 300 enlisted men and 62 first class trainees, undertook the construction of 100 kilometer Luna-Bantay Transmission line in Ilocos Sur. Together with the National Power Corporation, the unit erected a total of 96,000 feet high tension lines, the Signal Corps’ share in the electrification thrust of the government. During that year, the Chief of the Commel Group was Col Ciriaco P Hocson until 1972.

MARTIAL LAW ERA (1972-1981)

The Martial Law was declared by President Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972 by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081. The reason behind proclamation were the formation of the New Peoples Army, the Moro National Liberation Front that time fought for an independent Mindanao, several students protests and labor strikes.

Inspite of the campaign of the Philippine Constabulary to reduce crime rate. COL CONSTANCIO M DOMINGO, as the Chief of the PC Signal Corps continued its support for the maintenance of peace and order through rendering efficient and

reliable communication facilities and well disciplined personnel. However, in the year 1976, after rendering four (4) years service, he was replaced by COL LEO J SANTOS. During this year, this Service procured several numbers of URC 187, URC 601 and URC 773 which was distributed to several PNP operating units for long range communication and tactical operations.

The PC/INP COMMEL GROUP was organized on 16 August 1978 with the regionalization and integration of the PC/INP in 1976.

The unit works under the functional grouping of the AC of S C3/Director for Operations, INP. The CO of the units is in concurrent capacity the Special Staff of the CPC/DG, INP on COMMEL matters while the COs of the 12 Regional Units are simultaneously the RECOM COMMEL Officers of their respective Regional Commands. Although the Regional Commanders take full operational control over these COMMEL Regional Units, the CO of PC/INP COMMEL

GROUP retains full administrative control of and logistics support to these units. This arrangement is aimed at improving and >maximizing the effectiveness of the PC/INP COMMEL GROUP as a whole.

The activities of the unit include providing technical assistance on COMMEL matters for planning and control; communications-electronics support to operations; photographic services (including aerial photography); technical supervision over all COMMEL facilities of separate units; local networks of the PC Prvl Comds, PC Bns and PC Coy manning of the different relay/terminal/repeater stations of the existing PC/INP communications system; supervision of the operation and maintenance of the INP communications system; provide security and COMMEL coverage to VIP visits; engage in KKK project; PC/INP COMMEL ladies civic action, repair and inspection of COMMEL facilities of the different Regional Commands; provide personnel complement for relief, anti-civil disturbance operations; and perform infantry work when the need arises.

In 1978, OCC COMMEL, the five (5) Sig Svc Coys to include the INP Communications and PCM Sig Det were deactivated effective 16 Aug 78 pursuant to Sec II, GO No 133, HPC dtd 9 Aug 78, Hqs PC/INP COMMEL Grp, COMMEL Spt & Svc Unit and the thirteen (13) COMMEL Regional Units were constituted and activated effective 16 Aug 78. The unit has an authorized strength of 94 officers and 1,520 enlisted personnel. This reorganization was in line with the regionalization of the PC/INP. PC/INP COMMEL units to include local networks of Provl Comds and Bns are under the technical supervision of PC/INP COMMEL Grp. The thirteen (13) COMMEL Regional Units are operationally attached to their respective PC/INP Regional commands.

The PC/INP COMMEL take a great part in the overall performance of the PC/INP Command through the establishment of the following communications-electronics facilities: PC Telex System (leased from RCPI) linking HPC with the different selected PC/INP units; Communications Network of the Integrated National Police

Training Center (INPTC) linking all the different INP Training Academy all over the country; MPF Fire Network designed to support the fire prevention campaign in Metro Manila; Northern Luzon Microwave/Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Communication Systems which provides the main communications requirements of the PC/INP peace and order efforts in Northern as well as Central Luzon; Provincial Law Enforcement Communication System (PLECS) designed to support the communication requirement of the provincial government; and the Fixed Tactical Communication System at the different PC/INP units.

Aside from these, the PC/INP COMMEL provided communications-electronics support to the opening of the Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP), Presidential Security Command (PSC) during the movements of the First Family, other VIPs and visiting foreign dignitaries. Since the establishment of the PC/INP School for Communications-Electronics in 1972, the PC/INP COMMEL has been able to train 593 PC/INP COMMEL personnel on the various COMMEL courses.

As the need for communications-electronics facilities arises, expansion have been made and categorized in three systems. These are the Tactical Nets, Provincial Law Enforcement Communications System (PLECS) and Fixed Communication System. For the Tactical Nets, this utilizes the combination of High Frequency (HF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) two way radios for use primarily of the PC Combats/operating units. The PLECS which covers the 72 provinces of the Philippines including its municipalities are provided with Very High Frequency/Frequency Modulated (VHF/FM) two way communication nets used for police operations. The Fixed Communication System which was part of the nation-wide telecommunications development plan of the AFP is designed to provide telephone, telex and teletype circuits in all provincial and major PC/INP camps/units.

And as part of the regionalization of the PC/INP, the reorganization of the PC/INP COMMEL into group level was also set-up with 12 COMMEL Regional Companies and a Support and Service Unit with the

task of providing COMMEL coverages on all operation or HPC/INP and separate units. This made the Regional COMMEL units as organic part of the PC/INP COMMEL with the view of attaining the efficient administrative and operational control over COMMEL personnel, equipment and facilities. Thus, the CO, PC/INP COMMEL GROUP takes the roles of the overall chief of PC/INP Communications-Electronics. The Commanding Officers of the Regional COMMEL Companies were at the same time the RECOMS COMMEL Officers. Personnel and equipment of the 12 Regional COMMEL Companies were derived from the defunct signal outfits of the deactivated four Philippine Constabulary Zones and different Task Forces.

The Communications and Electronics Group was upgraded in January 16, 1979 into a brigade-size Communications Electronics Service whose role was to provide long lines communications service nationwide.The history of the PC/INP COMMEL never stopped on its venture for the appropriate communication facilities for the organization through the noble

leadership of COL LEO J SANTOS as he rendered his service for about five years 1981).

(1981- to present)

In the year 1981, COL ALFREDO T FRAGANTE was the overall commanding officer of the PC/INP COMMEL GROUP. During that time, the actual strength during this year is 689 EP and 28 Os only out of the authorized strength per TOE is 1,520 EP and 96 Os.

The unit has been actively participating in the implementation of the different projects under Plans Foresight Sierra III such as the Mindanao Backbone; Mindanao Spur Links; Visayas-Bicol Backbone and Spur Links; and Western Visayas Backbone and Spur Links.

Among other major accomplishments of the units include the replacement of the Camp Crame XY Telephone Exchange with the WESCOM 580 Digital Switching System; transfer of the Camp Crame XY Telephone Exchange to Bagong Diwa and Camp Castaneda;

installation of the Microwave Link Camp Crame and Camp Bagong Diwa with 24-telephone and 2 teletype channels capability; rehabilitation of the cable facilities at Camp Crame, Camp Bagong Diwa, Camp Castaneda and Camp Vicente Lim; upgrading of the INP communication system with the use of locally made C-E equipment; supported the COMMEL equipment and personnel requirements of the newly activated PC Bns, PC Coys and INP field forces.

Aside from those who have attended local and foreign service schools, the PC/INP School for Communications-Electronics was able to train 456 PC/INP personnel on such courses as Commo Chf Crse; Basic Rad Tech Crse; TT Rpr & Opn Crse; Rad Opn Crse; Rad Tel & Msg Center Procedure; Opn and Maint of 580 DSS (EPABX); PC/INP COMMEL Indoctrination Crse; and Microwave/UHF Opn & Maint Crse; 119 PC/INP personnel who have also attended seminars on TT, Rad and Swbd Opn; Rad Tel & Msg Preparation; Rpr & Maint of URC-187; and Opn & Maint of 580 DSS (EPABX).

The on-going projects of the unit are installation of solar power energy system; installation of lighting promotion system for the Camp Crame Complex; construction/renovation of ComCenter buildings at the different RANDOM HQS in conjunction with the action of Foresight Sierra III; acquisition of INP equipment locally manufactured by VETRONIX; expansion of PC tactical equipment using SRDP COMMEL equipment; and CAD/enlistment of Os and EP with backgrounds on communications-electronics.

A total of 7,759 radio sets, 3004 wire equipment, 1,445 power generators, 705 test and tool equipment, 521 photo supplies and 1,243 miscellaneous equipments were distributed to the different Regional Commands. Various COMMEL equipment was also distributed in support of the operations of the different PC/INP Task Forces.

In line with the KKK program of the government, the Officers and men of the unit launched their own food production projects such as fish culture, poultry and goat raising, and vegetable gardening.

On cleanliness program, the PC/INP COMMEL GROUP had been adjudged for several times as one of the cleanest units in HPC. COL FRAGANTE rendered his dignified service for the PC/INP COMMEL GROUP until 06 October 1986. He was then succeeded by PCSUPT ADOLFO F PUZON.

In the year 1988, the need for more tactical radios to support all tactical operations and urgent communications specifically on remote areas, the procurement of Harris RF 230, ICOM base and ICOM handheld were made during that time. This was followed with the procurement of other radios in the year 1989 and 1990 underthe CES leadership of LT COL CARLOS B MABITO (03 March 1989 to 03 November 1989) and PCSUPT ALBERTO M ASTUDILLO (03 November 1989 to 01 January 1991). These were the PRC 77, Uniden base and handheld radios,

and the GRC 106 (base radio).

When the Philippine National Police was organized in 01 Jan 1991 pursuant to RA 6975, the PNP Communications and Electronics Service (PNPCES) was subsequently activated to include the 16 Regional Communications & Electronics Service. PCSUPT VIVENCIO S MANAIG SR was then the Director of PNP CES until November 1, 1991.

He was succeeded by PCSUPT LUIS G LAMBRENTO until September 30, 1992.

PCSUPT ADOLFO F PUZON again served as the Director of PNP CES in 1992. Due to several threats experienced just to overthrow the current administration in the year 1993, another procurement of radios which was distributed to different operating and

regional COMMEL offices. These were the Fontek Repeater System, Fontek radios (handheld and base), and ICOM Repeaters. Due to the advent of technology and availability of sophisticated equipment, He initiated the acquisition of UHF Multi-Trunked Radio System which was initially programmed in 1993 and implemented in three (3) phases for a period of three (3) years. Upon its completion in 1996, a total of 28-channel repeaters were established in NCRPO; 14-channel repeaters in PRO 3 and 15-channel repeaters in PRO 4A. These was followed by the procurement of the MTRS Centracom Console which was installed at PNP COMMEL Headquarters.

PCSUPT PUZON was replaced by PCSUPT JOSE D UNGCO JR on December 11, 1998.Since the need for communication services and direct contact to Regional Offices, another equipment which is the Electronics Private Access Branch

Exchange (EPABX) was procured and installed in the PNP COMMEL Headquarters. These telephone system (Hicom 1000) for the Camp Crame which was very beneficial for the cost cutting measures. During that year, that was the state-of the art technology and it provided Two Thousand (2000) subscribers/users within the Camp. These was followed by the procurement of another switching equipment which was installed at Regional COMMEL Office 4 at Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City.

Before the millennium year 2000 arrived, several equipment were examined because of the threat on Y2K bugs that will be experienced by several communications equipment and computer facilities. Due to fear and panic caused by the effect of this Y2K bugs, the PNP became so particular with the monitoring of threats that might be experienced by the country. Thus, the PNP COMMEL service was tasked by the CPNP to monitor and render technical assistance in the installation of computer facilities and the system software applicable for the year 2000. After that incident, the need for new sets of radios for the PNP is at large.

This makes the COMMEL Service tie up with the Bureau of Fire for the procurement the TAIT radios and evaluated its performance as compared with the current system used (Motorola Radio System) in the year 2001. The Repeater system was installed at Tagaytay which was in the line of site and was utilized by PNP Units at Regional Office 4 and the National Headquarters. Because of so many threats from NPA and NDF members in the year 2003, communication security and contact is very much needed during that time which resulted to the procurement of Satellite Phones distributed to all Regional PNP Offices as well as the operating offices in the National Headquarters. Further, the procurement of about eight hundred (800) MTX 900 handheld radios, one hundred fifty (150) MTX 960 Handheld radios, sixty six (66) MAXTRAC Base Radios, two hundred thirty four (234) MCS 2000 Mobile radios, five (5) Quantar Repeaters, twenty (20) XTS 3000 Digital handheld radios wherein the volume of distribution is in the National Capital Regional. For the PACER, the procurement of one PDR 3500 Digital Repeater with program kit and encryptor.

On January 31, 2001, PCSUPT UNGCO was replaced by PCSUPT ALBERTO M ASTUDILLO. The CES Training Division was then given emphasis to improve the technical skills of the CES personnel specifically the newly recruited CES police officers.

In 2003, satellite phones were procured and distributed to all PNP Regional Offices and National Operational Support Units at the National Headquarters. Additional UHF handheld radios (MTX 900 and MTX 960), base radios (MAXTRAC), mobile radios (MCS 2000), Quantar repeaters and XTS 3000 digital handheld radios were also acquired for use of the PNP personnel in NCRPO.

PCSUPT ASTUDILLO was replaced by PCSUPT MERIO FROILAN M MEDIOS on September 11, 2002. Under his term, a 5-channel MTRS Repeater was installed in PRO-COR in 2004. Also during his time that the

PNP Communications and Electronics Service (PNPCES) was awarded as the Best National Administrative Support Unit (BEST NASU) on January 31, 2005.

PSSUPT ROLANDO D RABARA prepared immediate action on the start of his leadership on October 5, 2005 and continued the projects of PCSUPT MEDIOS.

He initiated the procurement of more communications equipment to support the significant activities of the PNP. He also initiated the optimization of the existing 24-channel MTRS repeater at Atlanta Center to maximize the services of the said system.

On February 21, 2006, PCSUPT GERARDO C HILOMEN took over as the Chief of PNPCES.

During his time as the Director, CES, a 5-channel MTRS was also installed in PRO 7 to support the 27th ASEAN Inter-

Parliamentary Organization General Assembly on September 10-13, 2006.

On March 26, 2007, PCSUPT IRENEO B MANAOIS was designated as Director and continued the programs initiated by PCSUPT HILOMEN.

During his incumbency, PRO 11 was provided with 5-channel MTRS repeater, handheld, mobile and base radios. More projects were implemented during his term such as procurement of more communications equipment which were distributed to the different PNP field units, upgrading of Public Address System, repair and maintenance of the existing facilities, among others.

When PCSUPT MANAOIS retired from the PNP on April 5, 2008, he was replaced by PSSUPT CONRADO S MIÑANO JR.

During his leadership, a 5-channel MTRS repeater was installed in PRO 6 to enhance the communications capabilityin the region. He also initiated the procurement of digital portable radios with encryption and portabledeployable repeaters for rapid deployment situations. He even facilitated the procurement and installation of acoustic treatment and audio-visual system at the Multi-Purpose Center in Camp Crame.

PCSUPT ROQUE G RAMIREZ assumed on July 6, 2009 and continued the programs and projects initiated by the previous Directors.


Police Chief Inspector
Chief, CES PCR Section