President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has picked retired University of the Philippines professor Clarita Carlos to be his National Security Adviser and Abono party-list Representative Conrado Estrella III to be his Agrarian Reform chief.
The two have accepted the offer, the Marcos camp said.
Marcos had a two-hour meeting with Carlos and Estrella at the BBM headquarters on Wednesday, June 8.
Marcos earlier said that Carlos, a noted political science professor, could help his administration with her knowledge of foreign policy and international politics. Carlos was a panelist at the SMNI presidential debate in March, the only debate Marcos participated in during the election period.
Carlos was also the first female, civilian president of the National Defense College of the Philippines, serving from August 1998 to October 2001. According to the Institute for Autonomy and Governance, Carlos has authored many books and papers on a wide range of themes spanning politics, governance, defense and security, and foreign policy.
The National Security Council, which is under the Office of the President, is the principal advisory body on the proper coordination and integration of plans and policies affecting national security.
The NSC Secretariat, the permanent body that provides technical support to the Council Proper, will be headed by the NSA.
Estrella, meanwhile, served as Deputy Speaker in the 18th Congress. He principally authored 90 measures and co-authored 86 bills.
In a text message sent to reporters on Thursday, outgoing Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Carlos and Estrella are "excellent choices" for the posts.
Senator-elect Francis Escudero said both appointees are "qualified and up to the task."
Escudero said Carlos would bring a "different perspective" on the issue of the West Philippine Sea and other national security concerns, given her background as an academic.
He also noted Carlos' decades-long exposure in the field, both locally and internationally.
Senator-elect Loren Legarda, who ran under the Marcos-Sara Duterte ticket in the 2022 elections, likewise lauded Carlos' appointment.
"As a national security practitioner, I know that she is an outstanding national security expert, with a keen mind that specializes on global, and geo politics. I hope that she will focus on the climate crisis, as well. We are here to support," she said.
Legarda also acknowledged Estrella's expertise in agriculture, hoping that the latter could help in transforming agrarian communities into climate-resilient areas.
"Former Congressman Conrad Estrella knows agriculture, rural livelihoods, and [local government units] concerns. He will do well in DAR, and hopefully will transform the agrarian reform communities or arc into productive, climate resilient areas to further help our farmers," she said. — with Hana Bordey/BM/VBL, GMA News