President picks Galvez as top peace adviser
President Rodrigo Duterte has picked outgoing Armed Forces chief Carlito Galvez Jr as his next top adviser on the peace process, Malacanang said yesterday.
In a statement, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte made the announcement during the 32nd Cabinet meeting in Malacanang on Tuesday.
“The president announced his intention to appoint General Carlito Galvez Jr to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP),” Panelo told reporters.
Galvez will replace Jesus Dureza, who resigned from his post over Duterte’s firing of his two undersecretaries for corruption.
Dureza’s resignation came in the wake of Galvez’s pronouncement that he wanted to become a peace consultant at the OPAPP when he retires on December 12.
Galvez was chairman of the government’s Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities before taking over the military’s helm.
He served for 12 years in Mindanao, during which he said he visited rebel lairs where soldiers were often killed, earning these areas the tag “point of no return.”
Galvez has said he “saw the misery” in large parts of the South, which lacked access to education and basic services.
His possible appointment came less than two months before the January plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which grants wider selfrule in Mindanao in southern Philippines.
Galvez said he would urge the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters to join the crucial Bangsamoro plebiscite.
Galvez’s appointment implies the “death of peace talks” between communist rebels and the government, the Makabayan bloc of lawmakers said yesterday.
“We are not surprised. The administration really shows that they do not value peace negotiations,” ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio and representative Francisca Castro said in a news briefing.
Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao denounced the decision to appoint Galvez, describing him as “powderbrained and trigger-happy.”
“A powder-brained and trigger-happy general does not suit such a position,” he said.
The Makabayan lawmakers previously said they would file a case before the Ombudsman against Galvez for “recklessly” accusing Castro and former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo as top communist rebels.
Castro said Galvez’s pronouncement put her life in danger.
She and Ocampo were both part of the “Talaingod 18” who were released after posting bail for charges of kidnapping and human trafficking.