Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

1st Infantry Division (Philippines)

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Country  Philippines
Type  Infantry
Branch  Philippine Army
1st Infantry Division (Philippines)
Active  May 05, 1936 - April 09, 1942 (as 1st Regular Division, PCA) May 07, 1942 - June 30, 1946 (as 1st Infantry Division, PCA) July 01, 1947 - present
Role  Conventional Warfare, Anti-Guerrilla Operations
Size  4 Brigades, 11 Battalions. Total is 20000+ soldiers

The 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army, known officially as the Tabak Division, is the Philippine Army's primary Infantry unit, and specializes in anti-guerrilla warfare. The division has been involved on combating terrorists in Southern Mindanao.


1st Regular Division, Philippine Commonwealth Army during the Japanese Invasion

The establishment of the 1st Regular Division, Philippine Commonwealth Army also known as Tabak Division was on May 05, 1936 to April 09, 1942 and stationed at Camp Murphy (now Camp Aguinaldo) in Quezon City, Rizal (now Metro Manila). The unit engaged in military operations in Bataan from January 01, – 9 April 09, 1942 supporting the USAFFE military forces led by General Douglas MacArthur against the Imperial Japanese troops led by General Masaharu Homma during the Battle of Bataan in 1942.

When the Battle of Bataan began in January 1942, the local troops of the PCA 1st Regular Division led by Brigadier General Mateo C. Capinpin (1938-1941) and Brigadier General Fidel V. Segundo (1941-1942) was sent to Bataan to augment the USAFFE forces against the Japanese. The battle lasted until April 1942. Before the fall of Bataan, Filipino troops and officers of the 1st Regular Division fought side by side with the USAFFE in Bataan, attacking Japanese troops along the Layac Line, Porac-Guagua Line, Abucay-Mauban Line, Battle of Trail 2, the Battle of the Pockets and the Battle of the Points before the invasion at Mount Samat on April 03, 1942. After the Battle of Bataan on 9 April 1942, the local forces under the PCA 1st Regular Division surrendered to the Japanese Imperial troops. The now infamous Death March commenced the following day with more than 78,000 Filipino and American POWs from Mariveles, Bataan to SAn Fernando, Pampanga and by train to Camp O'Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

After the Fall of Bataan on 1942 by the surrendering troopers of the 1st Regular Division by the Japanese hands in Bataan.

The 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division traces its beginning from the first regular Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army during the commonwealth period. It was activated on 18 January 1936 with Brigadier General Guillermo B. Francisco as its first Commanding General, initially it was filled up by regular troops from the Philippine Constabulary. It was strengthened in 1941 when World War II loomed in the Pacific region.

Post-World War II

The Division was formally reactivated just in time for the PA's final offensives in the Central Luzon region against the HMB in the late 1950s.

The Division's BCTs served under the United Nations Command during the Korean War, and the reconstituted division trained AFP elements which composed the PHILCAG sent to Vietnam. It also played a vital role in the anti-insurgency campaign, in the Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley in the 1960s.

It was first deployed in Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi during the outbreak of the Southern Philippines Secessionist Group in 1973. At present, it continues to be the guardian of peace in Western Mindanao.

The 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army also known as Tabak Division, after years on various areas in the county, opened its present headquarters on 4 December 1989 at stationed in Camp Major Cesar L Sang-an in Barangay Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur after its stint in Jolo, Sulu. It was redeployed in mainland Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces (ZAMPELAN) to combat the Communist and Islamic rebel fighters and to counter terrorism in Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BASULTA) and started the ongoing Islamic and Communist insurgencies in Mindanao in Southern Philippines on 1969 to date against the Communist rebels of the New People's Army (NPA) and the Islamic rebels and bandits of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The Headquarters of the 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division is located on a 422.81 hectare military reservation surrounding Barangay Upper Pulacan, in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. This reservation was taken over by the Division from Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) on 16 August 1987. From being rugged and mountainous, it was slowly developed into a sprawling and thriving military camp with the help of the 545th Engineer Battalion, 52nd Engineering Brigade, Philippine Army.

On 4 May 1991, the Camp was named in honor of Major Cesar L. Sang-an who died defending the country's sovereignty against a superior number of MNLF forces of Barangay Malaning, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on 23 March 1973. Sang-an was a brilliant Scout Ranger officer and a courageous fighter. Though twice wounded, he directed and covered his men until he was killed. This heroism earned him the award of the Distinguished Conduct Star (Posthumous) from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He was born on 3 November 1926 in Kinogitan, Misamis Oriental.


The 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army to conduct reinvigorated Internal Peace and Security Operations (IPSO) in the AOR to neutralize the CTM, destroy the ASG and JI, hold and contain MILF forces while continuing to observe the primacy of the peace process and neutralize other threat groups in order to establish a physically and psychologically secured environment conducive to progress and development.

Lineage of Commanding Officers

  • BGen Guillermo B. Francisco, PA (5 May 1936 – 10 October 1938)
  • BGen Mateo C. Capinpin, PA (10 October 1938 – 31 August 1941)
  • BGen Fidel V. Segundo, PA (18 December 1941 – 26 January 1942)
  • BGen Tirzo G. Fajardo, AFP (1 October 1957 – 15 June 1958)
  • BGen Manuel T. Flores, AFP (15 June 1958 – 2 November 1958)
  • BGen Antonio C. Deveyra, AFP (2 November 1958 – 28 March 1962)
  • BGen Ernesto M. Mata, AFP (1 March 1962 – 17 March 1962)
  • BGen Rigoberto J. Atienza, AFP (17 September 1963 – 9 June 1964)
  • BGen Flaviano P. Olivares, AFP (10 June 1964 – 15 March 1965)
  • BGen Godofredo F. Mendoza, AFP (15 March 1965 – 1 June 1965)
  • BGen Gaudencio V. Tobias, AFP (1 June 1965 – 11 June 1966)
  • BGen Romeo C. Espino, AFP (17 June 1966 – 23 February 1967)
  • BGen Ruben F. Maglaya, AFP (23 February 1967 – 5 June 1968)
  • BGen Eduardo M. Garcia, AFP (5 June 1968 – 6 February 1970)
  • BGen Rafael G. Zagala, AFP (6 February 1970 – 31 March 1976)
  • BGen Teodulfo S. Bautista, AFP (4 March 1976 – 10 October 1977)
  • BGen Emilio S. Luga, AFP (12 October 1977 – 21 May 1981)
  • BGen Angelo C. Queding, AFP (21 May 1981 – 31 March 1982)
  • BGen Mariano G. Miranda, AFP (25 April 1982 – 25 February 1986)
  • BGen Rodolfo T. Tolentino, AFP (25 February 1986 – 1 April 1986)
  • BGen Ernesto C. Maderazo, AFP (1 April 1986 – 11 October 1987)
  • BGen Raul T. Aquino, AFP (11 October 1987 – 12 October 1987)
  • BGen Buenaventura S. Tabo, AFP (12 October 1987 – 28 March 1988)
  • BGen Gumersindo T. Yap, AFP (28 March 1988 – 1 August 1989)
  • BGen Ernesto B. Calupig, AFP (1 August 1989 – 4 December 1989)
  • BGen Cesar F. Fortuno, AFP (4 December 1989 – 2 February 1991)
  • BGen Eduardo M. Fernandez, AFP (2 February 1991 – 15 October 1991)
  • BGen Raymundo T. Jarque, AFP (15 October 1991 – 22 December 1992)
  • BGen Rene G. Cardones, AFP (22 December 1992 – 15 July 1995)
  • MGen Rene J. S. Dado, AFP (15 July 1995 – 6 October 1997)
  • MGen Diomedio P. Villanueva, AFP (6 October 1997 – 23 July 1999)
  • MGen Narciso J. Abaya, AFP (23 July 1999 – 28 March 2001)
  • MGen Romeo B. Dominguez, AFP (28 March 2001 – 7 July 2001)
  • MGen Glicerio S. Sua, AFP (8 July 2001 – 28 February 2003)
  • BGen Trifonio P. Salazar, AFP (28 February 2003 – 20 November 2004)
  • BGen Gabriel A. Habacon, AFP (20 November 2004 – 11 January 2006)
  • Mgen Eugenio V. Cedo, AFP (11 January 2006 – 1 September 2006)
  • MGen Raymundo B. Ferrer, AFP (1 September 2006 – 16 March 2007)
  • MGen Nehemias G. Pajarito, AFP (16 March 2007 – 24 February 2009)
  • MGen Romeo D. Lustestica, AFP (24 February 2009 – 13 January 2011)
  • MGen Noel A. Coballes, AFP (13 January 2011 – 10 February 2012)
  • MGen Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz, III, AFP (10 February 2012 - 10 February 2013)
  • BGen Daniel A. Lucero, AFP (10 February 2013 - 2 June 2013)
  • MGen Felicito Virgilio M. Trinidad, Jr., AFP (2 June 2013 - 4 June 2014)
  • MGen Gerardo F. Barrientos, Jr., AFP (4 June 2014 to date)
  • 1st Division (PA), 1941-42 Order of Battle

    Fully-manned in the summer of 1941, and commanded by the truly formidable BGen. Mateo M. Capinpin, the 1st Division of the Philippine Army completely gave its manpower in late August to help fill in the beginning ranks of the Army's ten Reserve Divisions, which were just being mobilized and manned. From September through late November, the 1st Division was, for all practical purposes, de-activated. But its few personnel who remained—and the American and Philippine area commanders who oversaw the emergency reorganizations—were ready to implement careful plans to reassemble enough personnel to re-activate the 1st Division quickly, and then begin filling back in its ranks. When Japanese hostilities broke out on 8 Dec 1941, the 1st Division was only at cadre strength (just its commissioned and senior non-commissioned officers). Within ten days, 18 Dec 1941, it was re-activated and inducted back into the force tabulations of BGen. George M. Parker's South Luzon Force. Its new commanding general, the tough and brilliant West Pointer, BGen. Fidel V. Segundo (PA), set his hand to the task of continuing to bring the Division's units back up to as full a strength possible, all the while fighting a difficult staged retreat from South Luzon into the Bataan peninsula. The following Order of Battle is from late December 1941, but was more or less what the Division structure was throughout the 1942 Bataan Campaign:

  • 1st Infantry Regiment (PA) (Col. Kearie L. Berry; then Col. Dennis P. Murphy, Inf.)
  • 2nd Infantry Regiment (PA) (was on Mindanao in Dec 1941)
  • 3rd Infantry Regiment (PA) (Col. Albert H. Dumas, Inf.; then Col. Leslie T. Lathrop, Inf.)
  • 1st Field Artillery Regiment (PA)
  • 1st FA Regt HQ Company (PA)
  • 1st Bn/1st FA Regt (PA)
  • 2nd Bn/1st FA Regt (PA)
  • 3rd Bn/1st FA Regt (PA)
  • 1st Engineer Battalion (PA)
  • 1st Division Units (PA)
  • 1st Division Headquarters & HQ Company (PA)
  • 1st Medical Battalion (PA)
  • 1st Signal Company (PA)
  • 1st Quartermaster Company (Motorized) (PA)
  • 1st QM Transport Company (Truck) (PA)
  • 1st Service Company (PA)
  • Current Units

    The following are the Brigade units that are under the First Infantry Division.

  • 101st Infantry (Three Red Arrows) Brigade
  • 102nd Infantry (Igsoon) Brigade
  • 103rd Infantry (Haribon) Brigade
  • 104th Infantry (Sultan) Brigade

  • 2nd Mechanized (Magbalantay) Infantry Brigade
  • The following are the Battalion units under the First Infantry Division.

  • 5th Infantry (Duty Bound) Battalion (CAFGU)
  • 10th Infantry (Steady…On) Battalion
  • 18th Infantry (Deo et Patria)Battalion
  • 32nd Infantry (Daredevil) Battalion
  • 35th Infantry (Makamandág) Battalion
  • 44th Infantry (Agile n Stable)Battalion
  • 51st Infantry (Fuerte Uno) Battalion
  • 53rd Infantry (Matapát) Battalion
  • 55th Infantry (Vigilant) Battalion
  • 64th Infantry (Knights) Battalion
  • 1st Military Intelligence Battalion
  • 1st Civil Military Operations Battalion
  • 1st Field Artillery Battalion
  • 1st Signal Battalion

  • 15th Infantry (Molave Warriors) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division
  • 65th Infantry Battalion, 9th Infantry Division
  • 6th Special Forces Battalion, Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), Special Operations Command
  • 4th Scout Ranger Battalion, First Scout Ranger Regiment, Special Operations Command
  • 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion
  • 1st Cavalry Squadron
  • 3rd Cavalry Squadron
  • The following are the Division Reconnaissance Company units under the First Infantry Division.

  • 11th Division Reconnaissance Company
  • 12th Division Reconnaissance Company
  • 14th Division Reconnaissance Company
  • 15th Division Reconnaissance Company
  • Operations

  • Anti-guerrilla operations against the New People's Army and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). After a treaty was concluded between Philippine and MNLF officials, the 1ID fought against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
  • Anti-terrorist operations against the Abu Sayyaf.
  • Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines.
  • Trivia

  • Both MGen's Diomedio Villanueva and Narciso Abaya were assigned to the AFP's Top post as AFP Chief of Staff while MGen Noel A Coballes became the Commanding General, Philippine Army
  • BGen Raymundo Jarque's named was dragged to a series of coup attempts against the Aquino Administration.
  • BGen Raul T. Aquino AFP commanded the 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army for a period of twenty four (24) hours from 11 October 1987 to 12 October 1987.
  • 1st Infantry Division is the only Division confronting all major threat groups in the country.
  • Originally, it occupied Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija before it was sent to Jolo, Sulu. Since then the Division was known as "The Premier and Fightingiest Division of the Philippine Army"
  • Zamboanga Siege Operations which lasted for 21-days is one of the longest continuous Urban Operations with Armed confrontation. The death toll reached more than 200 consisting of security forces (26), Rouge MNLF Elements (Misuari Faction)(183-other unaccounted were buried by their comrades while fighting), and civilians (12).
  • References

    1st Infantry Division (Philippines) Wikipedia

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