The Philippines most southern island, Mindanao, had been experiencing continuous trouble caused by several secessionist groups more particularly the Moro rebellion. The government considered this situation as serious and had been sending the armed forces to topple down this uprising. In the forefront of this armed conflicts were elements of the then Philippine Constabulary (PC) who were always assigned to the provinces and interior areas to take control of these insurgency problems. These Constabulary men, mostly in their early twenties were left to conduct combat operations and occasional civic actions & community assistance to lure back the citizen to the government side.
The Philippine Constabulary, usually assign teams composed of eleven to fourteen soldiers in one front outpost called a “detachment” to curve down, if not eradicate rebellion and bring back normalcy to these areas. The Cotabato province, well known of its Moro rebellion, was always the most dangerous area of assignment for these Constabulary soldiers. The PC men as they were known, learned to survive using protracted warfare schemes, fighting the enemy using two fronts, through guns and through friendly community relations. However, the PC men also adopted schemes for themselves to survive the regular harassment inflicted to them by the enemy. “Buddy” system was applied protecting each others’ back at all times. This was when the soldier’s organization came into life. The “Anito” which was later on called the “DIABLO Squad” and much later known to be the “Guardians”.
It was April of 1976 that the original eleven (11) members of the “Anito Group” was formed in a PC Detachment at Sitio Kidama, Parang, Maguindanao where then Constable 1st Class Leborio Jangao, Jr, PC, organized it for the purpose of simple camaraderie and the concept of protecting each other. These Philippine Constabulary soldiers were all assigned in the detachment under his leadership (CIC Jangao). Having stationed in one place, made it easy for them to organize. The eleven “Anito” were, CIC Leborio Jangao, Jr who conferred to himself the title “Godfather” or (GF) with the pseudonym “Abraham”, CIC Ernesto “ Alas” P. Torres, Jr., CIC Arthur “ Percival” Camins, CIC Nolito “Halcon” Alabarin, CIC Alex “Zeus” Bonifacio, CIC Cesar “ Alvaro” Arevalo, CIC Romeo “Brix” Gonzales, CIC Alvin “Domino” S. Salvacion, CIC Margarito “Azul” Ejansantos, CIC Jaime “Jerico” Bargamento, and CIC Hamid “Krisanto” S. Singa. CIC Leborio “GF Abraham” Jangao, Jr. conceived the idea of forming them with his personal concept of “Walang Iwanan” during encounters in actual combat against the enemies in the battlefield, underlying the principles of Brotherhood, Unity, Solidarity and Oneness”. The “Anito Group”, which was sometimes branded as the “Diablo” gained recognition as fierce fighting soldiers. Having established the image of “brave” and “gutsy” PC men, the group gained respect and sometimes fear from the enemies. In the later part of 1976, the group was transferred to Barangay Baliton, Glan, formerly part of South Cotabato province and now under Sarangani province to conduct a peacekeeping campaign in the area. In their brief stay in Barangay Baliton, they gained recognition and support from the constituents for their exemplary performance. Since then, there was no expansion of membership, as the group was reassigned to the different PC Provincial Commands and PC Strike Battalions in Mindanao.
The life of a soldier is considered unpredictable. Part of their duty was to obey the order of the higher authorities. As soldiers, they were ready to be transferred and or assigned anywhere in the country. In 1979, Leborio “GF Abraham” Jangao, Jr. was reassigned to Lanao Del Norte PC Provincial Command located at Iligan City. This time he resumed his plan of expanding the membership of the group, he organized in Cotabato. He convinced his fellow soldiers to join his group and recruited them to be his immediate “disciples”. Having perhaps, the concept of the “Twelve Tribes” of Israel, he formed the “Diablo Squad- Dirty Dozen” to start the organization. He then formally named it as the DIABLO SQUAD, and the members of the Twelve Tribes were named the DIRTY DOZEN. All of the members were soldiers mostly belonging to the Philippine Constabulary except of the three (3) members, one belonging to the Philippine Army, Nephtali Real, numbered 1-11 with the pseudonym “Napoleon” and an organization rank of “Founder Godfather” or “FGGF”, the other one belongs to the Police force, Alberto M. Tinoy numbered 1-12 with pseudonym “ Phantom” with the organization rank of “FGGF” and Cuperto Bastasa who was from the Police force and was numbered 1-1 with pseudonym “BAROK” with an organization rank of “FGRF”. There were actually thirteen (13) members under these Dirty Dozen and they were:
- EUSTIQUIO “FGRF ACHILLES” (1-1) FUENTES
- ROBERTO “FGRF ORO” (1-2) VALCONCHA
- PHILIP “FGRF PEPE” (1-3) BAHIAN
- ORLANDO “FGRF VALIENTE” (1-4) VILLABITO(DECEASED)
- ERNESTO “FGRF SERVANDO” (1-5) BELLESAS
- ERNESTO “FGRF STA. CRUZ” (1-6) METILLO(DECEASED)
- CARLITO “FGRF ARIES” (1-7) CALICA
- YOLANDO “FGRF MERCENARIO” (1-8) BORDEOS
- WILLIE :” FGRF MALINCHE” (1-9) PUEBLAS
- PHILIP “FGRF CORONADO” (1-10) ISLADECEASED)
- NEPHTALI “FGBF NAPOLEON” (1-11) REAL(DECEASED)
- ALBERTO “FGGF PHANTOM” ( 1-12) TINOY
- CUPERTO “FGRF BAROK” (1-1) BASTASA(DECEASED)
There were however some accounts that the disappointment of the enlisted men of the Armed Forces towards their superior officers made it easy for GF Abraham Jangao, Jr. to form the Diablo Squad. One of the alleged causes of the disappointment was the death of the son of “Boy Sara”, a Fireman who joined the PC. He never received some benefits from the EM’s Club because the money allotted was borrowed by some officers of the PC Command and was never paid nor returned.
The thirteen (13) members of the Dirty Dozen were given the assignment to recruit twelve members each as their recruitment quota and grant them the mark of their own as a continuation of their numbers. The concept was to continue and expand the DIABLO SQUAD through the thirteen members of the Dirty Dozen identifying their lineage. This was actually taken from the idea of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and Father Abraham was considered the father of all nations. Leborio Jangao adopted the pseudonym Abraham and considered himself as Godfather (GF), the eventual father of all DIABLO squad members.
The original concept of the Diablo Squad was only for the membership of the rank and file or enlisted men of the AFP. Expansion should only be for the Non-Commissioned officer and below. This was a brotherhood of ordinary soldiers whose experience prompted them to bond themselves and help each other. The Diablo Squad started to spread and grew reaching other AFP units. The name Diablo became a legendary recall, catching the interest of commissioned Officer and the AFP higher command. This made CIC Leborio “GF Abraham” Jangao, Jr. uneasy being the target of the ire of the AFP chain of command.
At this instance, he met the then 1Lt Gil K. Taojo, Jr, the Officer In Charge of the Regional Security Unit 12, Lanao Del Norte & Lanao Del Sur (Intelligence Unit) stationed in Iligan City. Leborio “GF Abraham” Jangao discussed with Lt Taojo the existence of the DIABLO SQUAD fraternity. Being classmates in the PC Basic Course in Parang, Maguindanao in 1973, it was easy for them to understand each other. Lt Taojo believed on the purpose of CIC Jangao in forming the Diablo Squad. Leborio Jangao suggested to Lt Taojo to help him (Jangao) with the Diablo Squad. This was suggested because Leborio Jangao felt that he could no longer stand the pressures of the other commissioned officers and most especially the higher AFP Command. Leborio Jangao (was just an ordinary soldier at that time) and the members of the Diablo Squad were all ordinary soldiers. Leborio Jangao felt that they need some commissioned officers as their cloak for the Diablo members to avoid harassment and evade the ire of the higher headquarters of the AFP. It was not really Lt Taojo who was the special officer to be approached. Leborio Jangao may have approached someone else. However, because Lt Taojo was available and they were classmates, Leborio Jangao felt that Lt Taojo was easier to approach. 1LT Gil K. Taojo, Jr. agreed to join the Diablo Squad and be marked bearing the pseudonym “SGF Lapulapu”, and numbered 01, as the first commissioned Officer who joined the DIABLO SQUAD fraternity in 1980. Captain Anastacio Labitad, PA, who was then the commanding officer of the Composite Military Police battalion also joined the Diablo Squad. Considering that he was more senior in rank than LT Gil K. Taojo, Jr. he should have been marked with the number ahead than the later. However, since LT Taojo already bore the mark of the first commissioned officer, the number of Cpt. Labitad was “00” with the pseudonym “Patton”. Later on Police Lieutenant Lilia Buala joined them and marked as “02” with the pseudonym “Amazona”.
The entry of these Commissioned Officers to the Diablo Squad was not a welcome call to some members of the Dirty Dozen. They were opposed to their membership considering that the concept of the Diablo Squad was for the enlisted men of the AFP only. Besides, they were very sure that being commissioned officers with the rank higher than all of them, they will be dominated and their authority in the AFP will surely prevail, giving them no freedom and equal opportunity to participate in the decision making of the Diablo Squad. However, CIC Leborio “GF Abraham” Jangao convinced the members of the Dirty Dozen that the entry of these Commissioned Officers were a big help to the organization considering their rank and influence. The situation of the Diablo Squad was not stable at that time. The AFP high command was already questioning the existence of the Diablo Squad, but with the membership of these Commissioned officers, this will at least give them protection.
The entry of 1LT Gil Taojo, Jr. created a stir in the existence of other members. His rank in the AFP was definitely carried on to the organization. The once equal treatment of members suddenly turned into an officers command ruling. 1LT Taojo started making decisions for the Diablo Squad. CIC Jangao was only consulted considering that he was the one who originally organized the Diablo Squad but the decisions of Lt Taojo always prevailed. This prompted the other members of the Dirty Dozen to “stay low”. The others continued to support CIC Jangao but “lukewarm” to the leadership of 1LT Taojo. Later on, only the names of 1LT Gil “SGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr, Cpt Anastacio “Patton” Labitad, Lt Lilia “ Amazona” Buala and Sgt Leborio “Abraham” Jangao were known to the Diablo Squad organization. The Dirty Dozen was slowly being forgotten. Their existence and lineage was not propagated and supported by Lt Taojo.
Membership in the Diablo squad continued to spread all over Mindanao. The enlisted personnel in the AFP became interested in joining the organization. Leborio “GF Abraham” Jangao was an organization man and he was successful in propagating the Diablo Squad. He came out to have a very good convincing power and enticed many soldiers to join the Diablo Squad. The Diablo Squad helped minimize if not end in-fighting in the AFP. The internal competition was reduced. Soldiers from the battle front who usually cause trouble to other commands were controlled. The Diablo brotherhood prevailed and soldiers were seen assisting each other despite of the fact that they belong to different branch of service in the AFP commands. More and more commissioned officer joined the Diablo squad. Seeing its potential force, those who may have some personal reasons opted to be part of the group.
The continuous recruitment and growth of the Diablo Squad caused more worries to the AFP leadership. The entry of rebellious soldiers critical to the AFP leadership during that time made the existence of the Diablo Squad more vulnerable to suspicion of internal uprising. The AFP having an unstable flow of command was critical to any organization within the AFP branding it “an organization within the organization”. Most of the officers of the AFP high command, capitalized on the bad connotation the name “DIABLO” brought to the AFP. The Diablo Squad continued to experienced harassment from commissioned officers as instructed by the higher ups. The recruitment of the commissioned officers of the AFP never resulted to stabilizing the organization as far as pressures is concerned. (The thought of the stoppage of the harassment and pressures to the Diablo Squad the moment commissioned officers will be recruited, never materialized.) Despite the presence of Lt Taojo, Captain Labitad, Lt Buala and other officers, the higher command of the AFP still continued to pressure and harass the organizers to disband the Diablo Squad.
The continued pressures to disband the Diablo Squad prompted its officers to adopt another name. In the later part of 1981, the DIABLO SQUAD was renamed into DIABLO SQUAD THE CRIME BUSTERS. A Constitution and By-laws of the Diablo Squads the Crime Busters was drafted and later on adopted by the membership. The name Diablo became an acronym giving every letter a very meaningful translation. Every letter of the acronym DIABLO was given a meaning which when define shall state: D – stands for Dauntless, I – Ingenuous, A – Advocator, B – Banner, L – Liberty and O – Oneness. The Tagalog version means: Mga Matapang at Matapat na Tagappagtanggol ng Watawat, Kalayaan at Pagkakaisa ng lahing Pilipino. Finally, an assembly of all available members was called at Empire Village, Pala-o, Iligan City on November 16, 1981 and the delegates ratified, approved and adopted the Constitution and By-laws of the Diablo Squads the Crime Busters. By then, the organization was made open to civilian membership. In order to identify the civilian members from military personel, these members were given the name MAGIC GROUP. The first MAGIC GROUP members were all lawyers in Iligan City known as the MAGIC FIVE namely: Atty Ulysses Lagcao, Atty Angel Mencias, Atty Roberto Albulario, Atty Nicomedes Palangan and Atty Melvin Salise Every letter of the Acronym MAGIC represents:. M – stands for Magistrate, A – Advocator, G – Grievances, I – Impotent and C – Citizens which means: Mga Mahistradong Tagapagtanggol ng mga Naaapi at Walang Lakas na Mamamayan.
In that same year of 1981, the first National Convention of the DIABLO SQUADS CRIME BUSTERS was held in Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan City with more or less five hundred (500) members attending. During that occasion, Lt Gil “Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr, PC was officially conferred the title Founder Supreme Godfather (FSGF) and Capt Anastacio “ Patton” Labitad, PA as Supreme Godfather Consultant (SGFC). Sgt Leborio “Abraham” Jangao, Jr, PC was only conferred as Founder Godfather. In addition, Sgt Malih “Mohammad” Maong PC was instructed to organize the pioneering DSCB in Zamboanga City and nearby provinces. The Commissioned officers prevailed over the leadership of the Diablo Squad. As expected by the original members of the Dirty Dozen, the enlisted men in the AFP will never have the chance in the top leadership of the organization. The original Dirty Dozen was never given honor nor recognition. The original concept of membership for “enlisted men” became a thing of the past.
The widespread recruitment of the Diablo Squad within the ranks in the AFP continued. The AFP high command felt it was already growing and becoming a threat to the Armed Forces. The situation was far worse because it was coupled with the news that an impending Coup de E’tat was in the offing. During that time, the grip of the then President Marcos was dwindling. More and more military officers were disgruntled and the AFP leadership who was at that time loyal to the President was disturbed with instability. The existence of the Diablo Squad was not an exemption. Some officers of the AFP higher command suspected that the Diablo squad may be in cahoots with the coup plotters. Besides, some members of the RAM were too identified with the Diablo Squad. One of whom was Col. Billy “SGF Sierra” Bibit who later on was elected as President of the organization. This resulted to persecution against DSCB members in Mindanao. The Diablo Squad leadership received many complaints coming from DSCB members in different places in Mindanao informing them on how they were persecuted by their respective commanders. In the middle part of 1983, it recognized leadership of the Diablo squad met inside the GHQ canteen and discussed about the reported persecution of DSCB members in Mindanao. It was agreed that the Diablo Squad should be identified as a civilian organization and not a military fraternity. This can only be done if a non- military person should be the one to lead the organization.
According to the accounts of Lt Gil “SGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr., he volunteered to resign from the Armed Forces and lead the organization to ease the pressure and help the members who are in the AFP service. However, there were some information, claiming that the expiration of the commission of Lt Gil “SGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr reverted him to civilian and that it gave him the chance to lead the Diablo Squad as a civilian leader. It was noticed that even after Lt Gil “SGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr.’s conversion to civilian, the members of the Diablo Squad continued to experience harassment from the higher Military command. So, their claim that if a civilian was to head the organization the harassment and persecution will stop never came into reality and never ease the pressures of the AFP higher command.
The first assembly of the DSCB at Marcos Sports Center, Cagayan de Oro City was held in 1983. This was already attended by many members coming from the civilian recruits. Said occasion was highlighted by the presence of the then Cpt. Anastacio “ Patton” Labitad, PA and the then MSgt Leborio “FGF Abraham” Jangao, Jr as resource speakers attended by more or less one hundred members coming from the different provinces of Region X. This just disproved the claim of a few current Guardians that the membership in the “Diablo” was purely military. After all, as early as 1980, there were already civilian members of the Diablo squad who were called “Magic Group” at the time.
It was ironic that despite of the increasing number of members of the Diablo Squad and its existence for almost eight years, and aside from being led by Commissioned officers of the AFP and the support of many members, the Diablo Squad was not legally registered in any government entity either in the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Cooperative Development Authority from 1976 up to 1983. Accounts states that it was able to secure a Constitution and By-Laws as early as 1980 and even drafted another one in 1982. It spread like wildfire over those years and suffered persecution but none of the officers worked for its legality. (Persecution should have been minimized if the Diablo squad was legally registered. Having a legal personality will always have all the reason to fight back legally and get the needed justice.}
It was only in 1984 that concerned members from Zamboanga City worked for the registration of the Diablo Squad (CB) Brotherhood Association, Incorporated securing SEC registration and finally registered it under registration number 0119564 dated March 12, 1984. These were, Edwin H. Vargas, Leovigildo Lanto, Mamerto Romero, Jesus Mabalot, Jose Saplan, Jefrey Hortador, Reuben Roa, Jesus Paul, Jose Regino, Ceferino Bernardo, Elias Enriquez, Salvador Olarte, Jose Manglikmot, Antonio Espiritu and Roman Tigas. The registration gave the Diablo Squad equal rights as with all other association. (This should have been a cloak of legality and can already be an arm to fight the persecution experienced by majority of the rank and file soldiers who are members of the organization.)
This was however, disowned by the officers leading the Diablo squad headed by Lt. Gil “ Lapulapu” K. Taojo, Jr. The reason for disowning this group and branding them as unscrupulous was not known to the other members. Instead of thanking these very people for giving legitimacy to the Diablo Squad by registering it with the SEC, they were condemned. In that same year, the groupof Lt. Gil “Lapulapu” K.Taojo, Jr, caused the disbandment of the Diablo Squad by instructing the then Sgt. Leborio “FGF Abraham” Jangao and Capt Anastacio “FSGFC Patton” Labitad to sign a disbandment letter and give it to the AFP higher command. Lt Gil “FSGF Lapulapu” K. Taojo, Jr was not able to sign the disbandment order because he was then at Iligan City with Alberto “GGF Phantom” Tinoy. Sgt. Leborio “FGF Abraham” Jangao was persuaded to disband his own organization, the organization he conceptualized and formed, the brotherhood that catapulted these officers to limelight and made them famous.
The group of Diablo Squad members headed by Lt Gil “Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr., immediately replaced the Diablo Squad Crime Busters with the Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated (GBI). Leborio “FGF Abraham” Jangao, Jr, the father of the Diablo Squad was no longer in the list of incorporators. Col. Gregorio “SGF Gringo” Honasan signed the incorporation papers as a witness. The GBI was registered in December 10, 1984 with SEC registration No. 123899. Leborio “FGF Abraham” Jangao, Jr was again persuaded to write a letter to the SEC requesting the office to cancel the SEC registration of the Diablo Squad (CB) Brotherhood Association, Inc. However, it was not clear whether it was not given due course because Leborio “ FGF Abraham” Jangao, Jr was not an incorporator of the Registered Diablo Squad in as much as legality was concerned. The replacement of the Diablo Squad Crime Buster into Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated was a decision by a few Diablo Squad officers. The general membership was not consulted nor informed of the proposal. They were all left behind and taken for granted including the Dirty Dozen.
The reason given to the general membership of the Diablo Squad why it was replaced with the Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated (GBI) was because of the pressures made by the higher hierarchy of the AFP. However, the reason was in conflict to the earlier pronouncements of the leaders of the organization. The reason for recruiting Commissioned officers to the Diablo Squad, and the change of name from the Diablo Squad to Diablo Squad the Crime Busters was to ease pressures from th AFP leadership but still, the harassments escalated. The alleged sacrificed of Lt. Gil “Lapulapu” K. Taojo, Jr. by resigning and reverting to civilian status in order again to curved the harassment was never realized. Then again, changing further the name from Diablo Squad Crime Buster to Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated never resulted to stability of the organization. It continued to experienced harassment, persecution, chaos and divisiveness. In most cases, it was always the members who belong to the “enlisted men” who were victims of these harassments.
Not known to everyone, while the Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated (GBI) registered in December 10, 1984 under SEC registration No. 123899, was conceived and known to be the replacement of the Diablo Squad Crime Busters, the original Diablo Squad (CB) Brotherhood Association, Incorporated registered in March 12, 1984 under SEC registration No. 0119564, continued to exist as a legitimate organization. This was only revoked on August 11, 2003 for technical reasons by failing to submit its annual reports. This means that, the GBI became a faction of the original Diablo Squad and not the original as claimed by the majority of its members. This was perhaps the reason why the majority of the original members of the Diablo Squad have become in-active and lukewarm to join the GBI. That side of history was never explained to the rest of the original members of the Diablo Squad turned Guardians. They were made to believe that the Diablo Squad no longer exists. This has resulted in the exodus of the Diablo Squad members to the GBI. The DIABLO Squad died because of “pseudo information”. The father of the Diablo Squad collaborated with the rest of the GBI Incorporators to cause the downfall of the very organization they once proudly represented. They didn’t even want to carry the name at this time claiming that this carries a bad connotation and image. The Death of the Diablo Squad came in 1984,with the instant birth of the GBI at the expense of the Diablo members however, it was noticed that among the fifteen (15) listed incorporators and one witness in the person of Gringo Honasan, only four (4) of them remained in the GBI. They are Retired Army Sergeant Themistocles Romeo, Ex- PC Lieutenant Gil K. Taojo, Jr. Retired Col Anastacio Labitad who already passed away several years ago, though he remained in the GBI membership, had his own Guardians Moderate group. Gringo Honasan who signed as witness of the GBI incorporation organized his own PGBI. The rest of the incorporators left the GBI. Others can no longer be contacted. The reasons may be obvious.
The Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated (GBI) which was widely believed to be the original Diablo squad, expanded rapidly. In the absence of a fast communication system and having control of the communications in the military camps, many Diablo members believed on the legitimacy of the GBI being the replacement of the Diablo Squad. Nobody within the original Diablo members was able to dispute the claim. Besides, the organization was already controlled by new recruits having occupied key positions in the military and the magic group. The original Dirty Dozen were still bearing the ranks lower than the commissioned officer. Further, Leborio “Abraham” Jangao, the recognized father of the Dirty Dozen sided with these officers for apparent reasons. He never realized that he was slowly being set aside and eventually be forgotten. He was even expelled in the latter years. The recruitment was then focused on the Guardians, forgetting the once strong, united and the original Diablo squad. There was also a rapid expansion of the Magic group throughout the Philippines.
The original GBI organization was administered by a Cpt. Anastacio “FSGFC Patton, PA as President, Lt.Gil “FSGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr., PC (INACT) as Vice Pres. and Sgt. Leborio “FGF Abraham” Jangao, (PC) as Adviser. Leborio “Abraham” Jangao, Jr became merely an adviser. The original organizer and the one who conceptualized the founding of the Diablo Squad was no longer within the decision makers’ group. The leadership was occupied by Officers of the AFP. The original concept of the organization to be the brotherhood of ordinary soldiers vanished. The organization of the Diablo has then become the turf of the officers of the AFP. Cpt. Anastacio “FSGFC Patton” Labitad, PA directed that DSCB members shall have the “GUARDIANS’ tattoo on the lateral extremity of the left upper arm just below the shoulder. This directive finally caused the Diablo squad to its final rest.
The events that succeeded after Sgt. Leborio “Abraham” Jangao recruited Lt Gil “Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr. may be equated to the life of Andres Bonifacio, the father of the Katipunan. Andress Bonifacio sacrificed a lot in organizing the KKK for the sake of the ordinary Filipino people. When Emilio Aguinaldo, an “ilustrado” who belong to the “elite” Filipino, became a member by way of recruitment, he lorded it all in the KKK and eventually causing the death of Andres Bonifacio. Emilio Aguinaldo became more famous than Andres Bonifacio. He even became the President of the Republic of the Philippines, while Andres Bonifacio, the father of the KKK, was killed, upon the order of Emilio Aguindaldo during the Philippine revolution.
In 1985, Guardians Foundation Centre Incorporated (GCFI) was created as a foundation of the GBI organization. The main task of the GCFI was to generate financial logistical support to the GBI organization particularly those GBI members who are in distress or in extreme financial need. The leaders and members of the GBI were surprised of the sweep turn of events when GCFI started to recruit members for which is contrary to the very purpose of its existence. GCFI became a legitimate separate Guardians organization registered under the SEC. This became a faction of the GBI.
Persecution against the Diablo, now GBI members by some Officers became worst. Some AFP field commanders in Mindanao particularly in the Army Commands strictly and severely enforced the directive of the Higher Command that non – erasures of GBI and Diablo markings shall mean non – reenlistment into the Regular Force AFP.
Sometime in 1989, a Regional Convention was called. GBI Chapter in General Santos City hosted the said Regional Convention to promulgate innovative measures to amend some provisions of the original GBI Constitution and Bylaws. The focal point of the said amendment was centered on the conversion of the GBI organization from a military fraternity to a civilian –led organization known as Non Government Organization (NGO) similar to some other civilian organizations. Unfortunately, the efforts of amending some of the obsolete provisions of the original Constitution and Bylaws of the GBI was not finished due to lack of time and it was reset indefinitely Sometime in 1995 the matter at issue was finally realized with the completion of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Guardians Brotherhood Region XI Chapter Incorporated. It was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 29, 1995 with SEC Registration DNO95-000521.
In 1999, The Guardians Brotherhood Region XI Chapter Incorporated particularly Davao City Chapter hosted the 1st National Convention for Guardians Unification held at Greenheights Hotel, Buhangin, Davao City on October 1 and 2, 1999. This was attended by more or less 400 delegates from the different Regions in Mindanao which included Lt. Taojo, Leborio Jangao and Cpt. Labitad who were then conferred earlier as The Triumvirate. Sen Gringo Honasan, Mayor Benjamin “BCG” de Guzman and Mayor Rodrigo “CM” Duterte also graced the occasion. The convention delegates were able to come up with a Constitution and Bylaws for Guardians Unification under the name Philippine Guardians Incorporated (PGI). In this particular occasion, Gregorio “SGF Goyong” Duremdes was promoted to the rank of Founder by the National Triumvirate in the presence of Sen Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan. Few days later, the said Constitution and Bylaws was hand carried by Dionisio “Fdr Moulder” Quieta to the office of Sen. Gringo Honasan for registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unfortunately, the National Secretariat for Guardians Unification formed by Sen. Gringo Honasan rejected the said Constitution and Bylaws.
Sen. Gregorio “SGF Gringo” Honasan, the Interim National Chairman for Guardians Unification called for another National Guardians Unification Convention. It was held at Videospecs Building, Roxas Blvd, Pasay City on March 18 and 19, 2000. Each Region was allotted one voting delegate to tackle the Constitution and By-laws for Guardians Unification. The delegates were able to come up with a New Constitution and By-laws under the name PHILIPPINE GUARDIANS BROTHERHOOD INC (PGBI) and subsequently registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 26, 2000. Dionisio “Fdr Moulder” Quieta joined Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan in the PGBI and became one of the Incorporators abandoning the Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated (GBI). Lt. Gil “FSGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr, Cpt. Anastacio “FSGF Patton” Labitad, Msgt Leborio “FGFC Abraham” Jangao and the rest of the officers of the GBI campaigned for the adoption of the PGBI as the new unification name. However, after knowing the salient provisions of the new PGBI Constitution and By-Laws, they made a one hundred eighty degree turn and rejected the PGBI. They found out further, that under the PGBI Constitution and Bylaws the role and functions of the Founders are just mere advisers and cannot hold vital or key positions in the Administration of the PGBI.
The National GBI organization has suffered another blow after the creation of the PGI, the supposed unification group of the Guardians. The original plan of changing the name from GBI to PGI purposely for unification was actually supported by the Triumvirate namely, Lt Gil “FSGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr., Cpt. Anastacio “FSGFC Patton” Labitad and Msgt Leborio “FGFC Abraham” Jangao, Jr. It was only upon learning that the two officers Lapulapu and Patton will not have any major role and can no longer decide for the organization that they withdrew their support from the unification group. However, announcements were already made and majority of the GBI and Diablo members already joined the PGI which was actually registered as PGBI. Again, an exodus of GBI members flock the PGBI. This included the Iligan City Diablo Squad –GBI Founding Chapter. The original Diablo Squad members were enticed to join the PGBI because they were told that this was the collective decision as a result of the National Convention attended by the Triumvirate. All the members of the Founding chapter were set to join the PGBI except for Alberto “MF Phantom” Tinoy, a member of the original Diablo – Dirty Dozen. He was then in Saudi Arabia working.
After the expiration of the work contract of Alberto “Phantom” Tinoy in Saudi, Arabia, he went home to Iligan City and was informed of the new development. However, he refused to join the PGBI and instead talked to the original Diablo squad to stay put with GBI being their present group from the Diablo Squad. He led the preparation of a manifesto which was submitted to SGF Red Kapunan on April 24, 2002 during the PGBI national assembly at Tubod, Lanao Del Norte, stating among others their stand to stay with GBI as it was believed to be the remaining remnant of the Diablo Squad. That earned another name for the founding chapter for their loyalty and steadfastness in times of confusion and urgency. Alberto “MF Phantom” Tinoy proved it again that being a member of the original Dirty Dozen, he cannot be swerved. Majority of the Dirty Dozen never joined the PGBI.
A regional assembly of GBI and Diablo members in Region X was held at Cagayan de Oro City on May 4, 2002. This was called by Cpt. Anastactio “FGSC Patton” Labitad and attended by members coming from the different Provinces and Cities of Region 10. It was in this particular occasion where Lt. Gil “FSGF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr and Cpt. Anastacio “SGFC Patton” Labitad were officially installed as MASTER FOUNDERS by virtue of a resolution passed by the participants of the said assembly. Also taken up in the said assembly was the election of Interim Regional Officers as well as an information drive on the concept of Federation a system of governance of the GBI geared towards the establishment of a Federated Guardians Mindanao, Federated Guardians Visayas and Federated Guardians Luzon. The Guardians Brotherhood Region XI Chapter Incorporated hosted the 1st Mindanao Founders’ Summit at Maguindanao Hotel, Claro M Recto St., Davao City on May 26, 2002 with an inspiring theme: “PANAGHIUSANG HUGPONG GUARDIANS MINDANAO PINAAGI SA FEDERALISMO”. The GBI adopted the concept of Federalism. This Federal System of Governance was duly deliberated and subsequently voted upon overwhelmingly by the said participants (Founders). After a month, GUARDIANS BROTHERHOOD REGION X CHAPTER INCORPORATED was finally registered was with the Securities and Exchange Commission with SEC Reg. H20002000255 on June 14, 2002.
The 2nd GBI National Convention attended by both Guardians and Diablo members was held in Elena Tower Inn, Tibanga, Iligan City on April 5, 2003. Indeed, it was a pilgrimage to the Mecca of the Diablo – Guardians World. Among the highlights of the said festivity were the celebration of the 23rd Anniversary of the Diablo Founding Chapter of Iligan City, the adoption of New Bylaws of GBI and the promotion of Suprema Amazona Buala to the rank of Master Founder.
The 3rd GBI National Convention was held in San Abuyog, Leyte on April 29-30, 2005. Among the highlights of the said National Convention were promotions to National Founders of some deserving active Founders in the organization from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and the elections of new set of Officers in the National Chapter. It was also in that year that the Guardians Brotherhood Region X111 Caraga Chapter Inc. was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Cagayan de Oro City adopting the Federal System of Government.
In 2006, Lt. Gil “MF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr, called for the holding of an unscheduled 4th National Convention and Special National Assembly. This was hastily held at Molave Hotel, Tagum City, Mindanao, Philippines on August 26, 2006. The affair was participated in by delegates coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, with attendance mostly coming from Davao area particularly from Davao Norte and Davao Oriental, the home province of Lt. Gil “MF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr. The calling of the unscheduled convention was an offshoot of the bickering between Lapulapu and the group of Lawyers who are members of the GBI Davao City. This was triggered by the insistence of Lapulapu for the implementations of his decisions and policies even if this was not in accordance with the GBI By-Laws. He further claimed that he was clothed with “Inherent Powers” being the first Supreme God Father of the organization, and insisted that he was not covered by disciplinary rules and that the GBI Justice tribunal has no jurisdiction over him.
However, the GBI officers who are Lawyers argued that the GBI is an “organization of rules and not of Men” and therefore, nobody is exempted in the pursuit of order. Every member is subject to disciplinary measures and is answerable to the members.
As a result, Lt. Gil “MF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr was subjected to a trial by the GBI National Justice tribunal based on the complaint filed against him by several officers for several violations against the Constitution and By Laws. He was invited and summoned to defend himself but MF Lapulpau refused to recognize the tribunal. Lt. Gil “MF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr was expelled from the GBI, the order was approved by the National President as recommended unanimously by the members of the Tribunal. Upon learning of this predicament, Lt. Gil “MF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr. commissioned Dante “Offroad” Simangan to draft a Constitution and By Laws that will give MF Lapulapu immunity. After thorough review and study, an amendment to the GBI By Laws was introduced during at special Assembly giving the Triumvirate Power to replace and appoint officials from the national down to the local level of the GBI. A shift from the Presidential Form of Government into a Parliamentary Form of Government was also introduced in the amendments, whereby participants have unanimously voted for the ratification and approval of the new GBI Constitution and By-Laws adopting the Parliamentary Form of Government. In this new system of government, the new structure was properly arranged and at this point in time, the National Triumvirate was officially installed headed by Lt. Gil“MF “Lapulapu” Q Taojo, Jr declaring him as the new Prime Minister of the GBI Organization. It was followed by organization of Officers in the National level through appointment. The GBI however again suffered another division as some chapters and regions continue to follow the mandate of the elected officers under its National President, NF Awel Gana.
On December 9, 2006, the appointed Guardians Parliament installed Themistocles “John Bull” Romeo as a new member of the National Triumvirate replacing Anastacio “MF Patton” Labitad who passed away on that same month. Themistocles Romeo was at the same time elevated to the rank of Master Founder (MF) from his rank as National Founder (NF)
On April 25-27, 2008, another National convention was held at Tumaga, Zamboanga City. This was attended by delegates coming from The Different Chapters and Regions all over the Country with participation of members coming from the abroad. Though the attendance was not really substantial, it further amended the Constitution and By Laws. The New By Laws followed the concept of Federalism giving more autonomy to the Provincial and City Federal Confederations of the GBI. The form of the Guardians government is now Parliamentary – Federal. The Constitution and By Laws was drafted by Dante “NF Offroad” M. Simangan upon the request of Gil” MF Lapulapu” K. Taojo, Jr. The position of a Supreme Master Founder (SMF) was given to MF Lapulapu.
The GBI under the auspices of Lt. Gil “Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr continued to experience leadership challenge. Since Lt Taojo assumed leadership of the organization starting from the Diablo up to the GBI, breaking away of members and the continueds resignations and creations of other factions became routine. Judging from history and as a result of the research conducted by the new members of the Guardians, the center of the ire and division was focus on Lt Taojo himself. His brand of leadership was not applicable to the very independent minded, principled and democratic members. His autocratic style of management coupled with his dependency on the organization became an obstacle to the growth of the organization.
The first “blunder” of Leborio “Abraham” Jangao by allowing the Commissioned Officers of the AFP to join the organization which was supposed to be an organization of ordinary soldiers without clear policies as to the leadership issue resulted to the unstable leadership of the organization until today. History tells us that after the entry of Lt Taojo, the leadership immediately was handled by him and the supposed pioneering members, the Dirty Dozen were no longer given the chance to lead. The very purpose of Leborio Jangao to ease the ire of the AFP higher commend upon the entry of Lt. Taojo was never realized. The membership of Lt. Taojo became an opening for other Commissioned officers to be accepted as members of the Diablo Squad and eventually turned the organization as their mass base for loyalty and support. Though, positively, these reduced and even eradicated the in-fighting between soldiers in the different AFP major services.
The name of the organization was changed several times in order to make it appear to be non- offensive and to avoid the ire of the AFP higher command. However, the purpose was never realized. The perception of the leadership of the organization failed and it even further drag the organization into the pit of interest giving more concerns with the AFP higher command. The refusal of other original Diablo members to adopt the new name from Diablo members to Guardians was a clear manifestation of lukewarm respect to the leadership of the organization. Some were caught unaware of the sudden change of name. Other members never knew of a consultative assembly for them to be heard of their opinion before a major decision should have been approved and implemented. Lt. Taojo and the rest of the incorporators may have missed the theory of consultative leadership considering that the organization was at that time already a mixture of civilian and military members. The creation and eventual separation of the GCFI which was supposed to be the financial arm of the organization was a clear picture of dissatisfaction. The leadership of the organization was not able to hold on the officers and members to stay with the GBI.
Another blow to the leadership was the creation of the PGI, a unification group that was conceptualized, agreed, and eventually implemented by majority of the active members of the GBI and later collapsed as a unifying group but continued with a separate leadership structure. The hierarchy of the GBI was not able to hold on again to the organization and many of its members opted to join the group organized by Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan. The PGBI of Sen. Honasan even grew bigger than the GBI and many of the original Diablo Squad members found it more convincing joining them than the GBI. This is again a clear view of leadership dissatisfaction. Leborio “Abraham” Jangao, the father of the Diablo Squad was eventually expelled by the GBI under the leadership of Lapulapu. Brotherhood was forgotten. After what Leborio “Abraham” Jangao did to Lapulapu, giving him all the support and recognition, allegedly relinquishing to Lapulapu his chances to be the top most person of the organization, he ( Lapulapu) was not able to at least protect him( Abraham) and help him in times of needs. This also happened to Dante “NF Offroad” M. Simangan who was unceremoniously relieved despite saving the “Ass” of Lapulapu who was expelled by the legitimate GBI under the Presidency of NF Awel Gana.
At the very least, even in the ranks of the GBI leadership, breaking away continued to exist. The group of Fdr Libra Go, broke away and formed their own group which was using the same SEC registration of the GBI. The group called themselves GMB. The cause of the breaking away was also leadership questions, and Lt Taojo was not able to solve it. Later on, his pronouncement even further aggravated it, and caused more trouble. Succeeding breakaways continued and the creation of factions became an ordinary routine for the Guardians. The GBI under the leadership of Lapulapu became the producer of dissatisfied members that was seen by those that organized their own Guardians Factions. The continued refusal of Lt. Gil “SMF Lapulapu” Taojo, Jr. to relinquish his leadership to other much qualified and effective members has caused the organization a lot of problems and created more divisions. His desire for a perpetual stay in the higher hierarchy of the organization was seen as the cause of all these problems. (now the organization was experiencing.)
Sensing all these things and events, the newly recruited members who now became officers started to conduct research within the organization. Many of them being, highly educated and occupying high and sensitive positions in their field of profession were not satisfied of the explanation given to them of the failure of the organization. Most of these new members even “dug” in more, on the history of the Diablo and asked many pioneering members about the true beginning of the organization. They started to question some decisions of the Triumvirate and even argued with precision and reasons. As a result, the new members were either relieved, suspended or even expelled by Lapulapu through his Acting Prime Minister, Johnbull for no apparent reasons or sometimes fabricated accusations and concocted lies.
In May 22, 2010, the Diablo Squad – Dirty Dozen together with the original Diablo members and the new GBI members called for a Special Assembly in Iligan City, the home of the Diablo Squad and the Guardians. This was supposedly intended only for Mindanao members. However, concerned members from Cebu and Luzon chose to attend the assembly for them to know the real issues. Despite of the SMS messages by MF Johnbull and SMF Lapulapu declaring the assembly illegal and ordering the members not to attend, the assembly was able to gather 205 participants with all the regions in Mindanao represented. The organizers were not expecting an overwhelming response from the members and such attendance was already more than enough to decide on pertinent matters.
The attendees of the special assembly decided to submit amendments to the GBI Constitution and By Laws pointing among others the scrapping of the immunity clause of the Triumvirate to give equal rights and opportunity to other ordinary members. It also proposed the autonomy of the three (3) major islands of the Philippines and the overseas. It also introduced transparent collections and the full implementation of important provisions of the Constitution and By Laws which was being rigged by Johnbull and Lapulapu.
The proposal was submitted immediately to the National headquarters and to the Guardians Parliament through Johnbull and Lapulapu. However, this was not given due course and was not included in the agenda when Lapulapu and Johnbull called for a Parliament session and Conference. Instead, those national officers who attended the assembly were even relieved from their duties and complaints were filled with fabricated accusations. This has turned the supposed solution to the problem a reason for expulsion.
With this development, the founding chapter together with other national officers and the Dirty Dozen meet again in June 9, 2010 and finally decided to withdraw their support from Lapulapu and form a separate group which will no longer recognize the leadership of the Triumvirate and expose their acts which were not in accordance with the doctrine, history and principle of the original Diablo Squad. The members of the Dirty Dozen came out into the open and voiced out their disappointments. Many of the original Diablo Squad aired their feelings and told their story.
Actually, their disappointments started several years ago when Lapulapu took over the leadership of the Diablo Squad. But it was only when the old and reliable members of the Diablo Squad can no longer hold their disappointments to the original Diablo members of the dirty Dozen, who for several years just held their breath and stayed in the sideways, finally stood up and said it all. They sympathized with these new members and supported their cause. They corrected the history and relayed the true events that brought the organization into the limelight. The Diablo Squad – Dirty Dozen felt that it was already the time for them to speak up and assert their existence and face the reality by invoking moral ascendancy.
They are now finally leading the organization by asserting the argument that the word DIABLO was and is never bad after all. The sacrifices and sufferings they experienced in the past for pioneering the organization cannot be bought with anything but a sensible recognition and respect for the name. In order for the organization to succeed, the Dirty Dozen proposed for a more democratic organization. The true history should be written and published, and the leadership should be open to those who are qualified, capable and able. Personal interest should never be part of the agenda, especially if it involves the money of the organization. Those found guilty shall be meted the equivalent penalty. Everyone, which means officer or member, shall be treated equally as this was the vision of the organization when it was first organized in 1980. There shall be no person to be treated as above the other members. The concept of the Diablo Squad of helping each other shall remain the highest value within the Diablo-Guardians family.
With this development, the original Diablo Squad- Dirty Dozen proposed to re-name the organization to DIABLO GUARDIANS MAINTREAM INCORPORATED, as THE TRUE DECESNDANTS OF THE DIABLO SQUAD, and to call on all the ORIGINAL DIABLO MEMBERS to affiliate and renew their membership. This will bring together the OLD DIABLO SQUAD members and the NEW GUARDIANS members into one solid and coherent body, renewed in believing in the true brotherhood under one fold, one organization.