The Philippine Star : Marcos Jr. selects retired UP professor Carlos as NSA, Estrella as agrarian reform chief

By Kaycee Valmonte | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines (Updated June 9, 11:42 p.m.) — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has named two more officials to his prospective Cabinet — retired professor Clarita Carlos and former party-list congressman Conrado Estrella.

In an update on Wednesday evening, the president-elect's media bureau said Marcos Jr. has invited Carlos to be his national security adviser, while Estrella will serve as the Department of Agrarian Reform secretary.

The current national security adviser is Hermogenes Esperon Jr., a former armed forces chief. DAR is currently headed by Bernie Cruz, who took over for John Castriciones since the latter resigned to run for senator under the slate of the administration-backed PDP-Laban.

The two accepted the president-elect’s offer after a two-hour meeting at the Marcos campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City, his media bureau said.

Clarita Carlos
Carlos is a retired professor of political science, who was also invited to be a panelist at the SMNI Presidential Debates held in February.

She was also invited to be a panelist at the SMNI Presidential Debates held in February.

Carlos recently made headlines for crying foul after professors at the University of the Philippines’ Department of Political Science reportedly took a “collective stand” against her for claiming affiliation with UP.

She said she has always identified herself as a retired professor.

As National Security Adviser, Carlos will lead the country’s agency that streamlines plans and policies relating to national security as well as the controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Carlos will sit as vice-chairperson of the Anti-Terrorism Council that has the power to designate suspected terrorists and authorize their prolonged detention

Conrado Estrella
Meanwhile, Estrella is a former ABONO party-list representative. He was among lawmakers who voted against granting broadcaster ABS-CBN a new franchise. He was also named in the Philippine Daily Inquirer's exposé on the pork barrel scam.

At the 18th Congress, he was the primary author of the bills amending areas of the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, among others.

Sitting at the helm of the DAR, Estrella will be in charge of redistributing the remaining land to landless farmers and ensuring that farmers and farmworkers are compensated properly, a responsibility which has long been clouded by issues of disagreement between farmers and landowners or big corporations.

His grandfather and namesake, Conrado Estrella Sr., also served as Agrarian Reform secretary during the time of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. — with report from Kristine Joy Patag