For years Fabian Ver, a distant relative of Ferdinand Marcos, was the President's chief bodyguard and commander of the Presidential Security Command (PSC).
He has relinquished the PSC post but - with his almost complete control of the military and civilian intelligence apparatus in the Philippines - retains ultimate responsibility for the President's safety.
His three sons now hold key positions in the PSC. Irwin, a full colonel, is PSC chief of staff. He also commands the presidential guard and is the PSC's chief of intelligence. The latter post was once held by Gen. Luther Custodio, who was entrusted with Benigno Aquino's security at Manila airport. Although in theory outranked by the PSC commander, Irwin Ver is thought to have direct command of PSC forces. Irwin's older brother, Lt. Col. Rexor Ver, has overall responsibility for the security of the Marcos children. The third son, Maj. Wyrlo Ver, commands a PSC company.
PSC strength is classified, but estimated at 1,200 men - two battalions and a headquarters unit. It has its own armored unit, probably commanded by Wyrlo Ver, and its intelligence network is thought to extend nationwide. PSC officers tend to be from the same area - Ilocos Norte, the northernmost part of Luzon - as are Marcos and Gen. Ver. Once they are attached to the command, one military observer notes, they usually stay there.
''PSC is the elite of elites in the Philippines' armed forces,'' the observer said.