SunStar : Marcos Jr. appoints Clarita Carlos as national security adviser, Estrella as DAR chief

By THIRD ANNE PERALTA-MALONZO | SunStar

INCOMING President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has appointed retired University of the Philippines (UP) political science professor Clarita Carlos as his national security adviser.

Marcos’ office also announced that Abono Party-list Representative Conrado Estrella III will be the chief of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

It said the two have already accepted their respective appointments.

Carlos earned her degree in foreign service and master’s and doctorate degrees in political science at UP Diliman.

She served as the president of the National Defense College of the Philippines from August 1998 to October 2001. She was the first female civilian to lead the institution.

She penned numerous books and articles about the country’s electoral and political-party system.

Carlos caught the spotlight when she served as a panelist at the SMNI presidential debate in March, the only debate Marcos participated in during the election period.

She displayed her expertise in foreign policy and international politics, which caught the attention of the public.

Estrella, on the other hand, served as Pangasinan Sixth District representative before he was nominated for Abono Party-list, which represents workers in the agricultural sector.

His grandfather, former governor Conrado Estrella Sr. also served as DAR chief from 1971 to 1986, under then-president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

In 2015, Estrella III was implicated in the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, where lawmakers allegedly funneled public funds through fictitious non-government organizations.

He denied the allegations, saying his signatures in the documents were forged.

In the 18th Congress where Estrella served as the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, he principally authored 90 measures including measures to strengthen the resiliency of farmers against climate change, improve the financing system for farmers and fisherfolk, and establish instructional gardening programs in all elementary and secondary schools in the Philippines.