Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has named presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. as the new head of the Department of National Defense (DND).

A statement from Presidential Communications Office OIC Cheloy Garafil on Monday confirmed that Sr. Usec. Jose Faustino Jr. has resigned from his post, and that Marcos offered Galvez the DND position. The Palace did not give a reason for Faustino’s resignation.

“It is with deep regret that the President has accepted the resignation of DND OIC Sr. Usec. Jose Faustino Jr. The President has offered the position of DND Secretary to Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. and he has accepted,” the statement read.

Faustino, who served as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines until his retirement in Nov. 2021, was named by Marcos as DND OIC and formally took the post in July last year. The member of the Philippine Military Academy Maringal Class of 1988 could not be appointed secretary at the time because of the one-year ban on the appointment of retired military officers.

Galvez, also a former AFP chief, served as Presidential Peace adviser and concurrent vaccine czar at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic under former President Rodrigo Duterte.

He was commander of the Western Mindanao Command and led the AFP in the months-long battle in 2017 to liberate Marawi City from the Maute group and foreign militants. He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s Sandiwa Class of 1985.

Neither Galvez nor Faustino have released statements on the matter.

Former Sen. Ping Lacson said Galvez was a “good choice” for DND chief.

“Gen Galvez can provide the leadership that the defense establishment needs especially during the transition period of the implementation of the law on fixed term of generals holding key positions in the AFP,” he said on Monday.

Sen. Koko Pimentel, meanwhile, expressed concern about the appointment.

“I have no idea why these developments are happening. I hope there are no serious reasons behind all of these developments,” he said.

This is a developing story.