Galvez tells DND execs: Stay in place, keep department intact

Amid recent controversies that saw the resignation of several officials, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary-designate Carlito Galvez Jr. has appealed to ranking defense officials to “stay in place” and keep the department intact.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary-designate Carlito Galvez Jr. talks to personnel of the DND at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Jan. 10, 2023. (Photo: DND)

This was emphasized by DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong on Wednesday, Jan. 11, as he dismissed rumors of mounting dissent in the defense and military.

According to Andolong, Galvez and resigned DND Officer in Charge Jose Faustino Jr. met on Tuesday for a transition briefing.

“Basically in a nutshell, I’d like to report that we had a smooth transition yesterday and that he prevailed upon our executive committee members and our heads of bureaus to stay on. We’d like to let you know that the DND is intact and his intention is to hit the ground running,” Andolong said in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Following Faustino’s resignation last week due to the sudden change in leadership at the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the DND said that around seven to eight officials with ranks undersecretary and assistant secretary have also quit their posts. It was revealed that their appointments are coterminous with the resigned official.

But DND Undersecretary for capability assessment and development Angelito Joey de Leon said Galvez told them to stay put.

“He immediately gave the order, everybody stays put and hence nobody would resign or get out of DND,” de Leon said.

Accordingly, Galvez vowed to ensure the continuity of the 10-point agenda set by Faustino.

Introduced by Faustino in July 2022, the DND’s 10-point agenda refers to the guidelines that seek to align the department’s policies with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vision and call for unity.

It covers sovereignty and territorial integrity; internal security and stability; disaster resilience and climate change adaptation; cyber defense; modernization, capability and capacity development; security cooperation and engagements; reserve force development; welfare of soldiers, veterans and civilian human resource; legal and legislative agenda; and protection of cognitive domain.

Galvez also accompanied Marcos in visiting disaster-stricken communities in Misamis Occidental due to rains brought by a low pressure area. As the Defense chief, Galvez also concurrently sits as the chairman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The DND also held its joint New Year’s call which was attended by key commanders and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and civilian personnel of the DND bureaus.

“There is no issue on the morale . The morale remains high, and we are focused on our mandate,” de Leon said.

“What’s important here is that we move forward and we address the mandate of the defense department,” he added.