RAFAEL P. CRAME
First Filipino Constabulary Chief
Rafael Crame was born on October 2, 1863 in Malabon, Rizal, the son of an officer in the artillery corps of the Spanish army in the Philippines, Rafael Ma. De Crame y Gonzales Calderon and Maria Perez de Tagle.
Upon graduation from the Ateneo de Manila, he studied at the Spanish military academy from in 1879 to 1881. After completing his cadetship, he joined the Negociado de Contribución Territorial, a government agency. He was an official in the Administración de Hacienda Pública upon the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in 1896.
From 1896 to 1898 Crame successively served with the battalion of volunteers organized by the Spanish Army first as private, then as corporal, and finally as sergeant. In August 1899, he left the service as a first lieutenant. It was thus as lieutenant that he entered the police service during the early days of the American regime. Unfortunately, when the police was reorganized, he was among those relieved because of his low ranking.
A certain Captain Alkinson recruited him into the Philippine Constabulary when it was organized sometime in 1902. He climbed the ranks in quick succession, from fourth-class inspector to second, and then first lieutenant in 1903. He was captain in 1905, and then assistant superintendent of division of infantry, in 1906. In December 1907, he was promoted assistant director with the rank of lieutenant colonel, serving thus until he became assistant chief and full-fledged colonel in February 1914. In March 1917, he was named Acting Chief. Before the year was over, he assumed the top-most position, with the rank of Brigadier General.
Crame served the PC with distinction. He rid Cavite province of its outlaws and bandits. His American superiors commended him for his role in the successful litigation of the case against former revolutionary leader Mariano Noriel, a revolutionary soldier and also in 1913, for the retrieval of the stolen plans of Corregidor.
On December 20, 1920, he turned down a medal of honor from Governor General Francis Burton Harrison given in recognition of his role in the resolution of the altercation between the Manila Police Force and the Constabulary.
Crame married thrice. He had three children -Maria, Luis, and Rafael- by his first wife, Maria Garcia. His second wife, Soledad Fernandez, gave birth to Soledad and Teresa. He had eight children by his third wife, Concepcion Fernandez, namely: Antonio, Concepcion, Jose, Pilar, Filomena, Juan, Ines, and Nieves.
A true soldier and peace officer, he died on January 1,1927, leaving exactly 10 years of dedicated service as PC chief.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume I. Quezon City: Filipiniana, 1995.
Villaroel, Hector, et. al. Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1965
Photo: Eminent Filipinos, p.82