Carlos steps down as PBBM’s top security adviser

National Security Adviser (NSA) Clarita Carlos announced on Saturday, Jan. 14, her resignation from the Cabinet of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos (File photo courtesy of Senate PRIB)

“I have realized that it is no longer politic to continue as NSA to the President and so, I have decided to migrate to another agency where my expertise on foreign, defense and security policy will be of use,” Carlos said in a statement.

“I shall continue to help build a Better Philippines,” she promised.

Carlos will be replaced by retired military chief Eduardo Ano, who served as a former secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) during the previous Duterte administration.

Carlos is reportedly headed to the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives to pursue her scholastic endeavors. Carlos is an academic and educator who served as the first female and civilian president of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) from 1998 to 2001.

Carlos was appointed by Marcos as the Director General of the National Security Council of the Philippines (NSCP) in June 2022 where she also concurrently served as the chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (WPS), and vice chairperson of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC).

Carlos’ resignation came a day after she rejected calls from fellow government officials for the resignation of allegedly ineffective personnel of the NTF-ELCAC.

Earlier this week, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) Chairperson Allen Capuyan urged members of Secretariat of the country’s primary anti-insurgency task force to resign as they allegedly “failed to perform concrete actions” since Marcos assumed the presidency last year and only make the task force “irrelevant and unresponsive to the developments on the ground.”

Carlos had also reportedly said that she was “confused” with the leadership changes in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which shocked the security sector last week.

Marcos replaced now retired Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro with Gen. Andres Centino, an appointee of former president Rodrigo Duterte, as the military chief. The abrupt leadership change prompted retired general Jose Faustino Jr. to quit his post as the officer in charge of the Department of National Defense (DND).