CARLITO Galvez Jr., a retired military general who also played a key role in the previous administration’s pandemic response, will be the country’s new Defense Secretary.
Malacañang said Galvez agreed to President Marcos’ offer to head the defense portfolio after Department of National Defense officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. quit the post.
Marcos accepted Faustino’s resignation “with deep regret,” said Presidential Communications Office officer-in-charge Cheloy Garafil.
“The President has offered the position of DND Secretary to Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. and he has accepted,” Garafil said.
However, the palace did not disclose why Faustino, a retired army general, gave up the top DND post.
The DND is in charge of protecting the State against external and internal threats. It supervises the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Government Arsenal, and the Office of Civil Defense.
Who is Galvez?
Galvez is also a retired general of the Philippine Army.
When he was active in the military, he led the campaign to liberate Marawi from extremists groups that laid siege to the city in 2017.
He served as Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff in 2018.
After his retirement, he joined the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Galvez took on the role of Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Galvez became the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID.
He also led efforts to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
The change in the DND leadership came after the President appointed Gen. Andres Centino the new AFP Chief of Staff, replacing Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro.
Faustino was not at the change of command ceremony.
It was the second time Centino was appointed AFP chief of staff. He was first named to the post in November 2021 and replaced by Bacarro in August.
Centino, upon assuming his post, called on the troops to stop “squabbling.”
The branches of the AFP have also issued statements declaring their support for Centino.
Banner photo credit: Office of the Press Secretary