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By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News
(SDN) — The Bangsamoro government headed by Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim and other officials hailed Monday, January 9, the appointment of ex-military turned peacemaker Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. to the Department of National Defense (DND).
On Monday, Malacañang announced the appointment of the former head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPRU).
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. appointed Galvez to the DND, replacing former military General Jose Faustino, Jr., a news report from the Philippines News Agency (PNA) said.
The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil made the announcement on the new appointment.
Upon learning this, the leadership of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) under Ebrahim issued a statement welcoming the new development.
“The Bangsamoro Government congratulates Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. on his appointment as President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s defense chief,” the Chief Minister said.
Ebrahim assured Galvez of the Bangsamoro government’s commitment to support him in his new role as the BARMM leadership continues working together for peace and stability in Mindanao.
Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), described the new DND chief as a “tested military official” who held many leadership roles in his “stellar career.”
Some of them as commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) based in Zamboanga City, Region IX, head of the 6th Infantry Division in Central Mindanao based at Camp Siongco, Awang Airport, Cotabato City, co-chairman on the Government of the Philippines Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (GPH-CCCH) alongside the MILF, the Chief Minister recalled.
Ebrahim also credited Galvez “for leading the liberation of Marawi City in 2017 and for serving as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process that supervised the eventual creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”
“We look forward on continuing our shared work to maintain peace in Mindanao and commit our support to his new role.”
BARMM Member of Parliament and Education Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal and Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo joined Ebrahim in welcoming the appoinment of Galvez, their partner in the Mindanao peace process for some years.
“The appointment of Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. as Defense secretary is significant in many ways,” said Iqbal, who wears many hats in the peace process, including as the chief negotiator of the MILF in the peace talks with government.
“His vast experience in military, peace process, as Covid czar, and Marawi crisis is a big plus factor to the current administration. He knows where all these things are supposed to be brought forth,” Iqbal emphasized.
The head of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), Iqbal welcomed the fact that he and the new DND chief has a close working relationship in the peace process. “On a personal note, we know each very well.”
Sinarimbo, the spokesman of the BARMM, also shared his welcoming sentiments.
“We welcome the appointment of Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. as the DND head. This will ensure that the primacy of the peace process and peace agreement implementation will be at the heart of the security policy of the state. This will surely redound to the benefit, not just of the region, but of the country in general. Congratulations on his well deserve appointment,” the MILG head said.
From the Bangsamoro officials’ statements it appears they have high expectations the ongoing implementation that started in 2018 of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) will continue in the Marcos administration. (✓)