Who is Clarita Carlos, Bongbong Marcos’ National Security Adviser?

What role will she play in the incoming administration?
Photo/s: Atty. Vic Rodriguez/Facebook

Political scientist Clarita Carlos will soon sit as the National Security Adviser of president-elect Bongbong Marcos, putting her within earshot of the chief executive when it comes to defending the country from all kinds of threats.

Carlos, who taught political science courses at the University of the Philippines, will be the first woman to sit as National Security Adviser, a post typically given to former military officials.

She is the first woman civilian president of the National Defense College of the Philippines, an educational and training agency under the Department of National Defense providing further studies on subjects related to national security.

READ: Who are Bongbong Marcos' Cabinet Secretaries?

In the academe, Carlos' fields of expertise include politics, governance, defense and security, and foreign policy. She served as executive director of the Center for Political and Democratic Reform Inc., a non-government, policy-oriented academic think-tank.

While Carlos has frequently given her analysis on political and foreign policy issues in media interviews, she entered public consciousness as one of the panelists in the presidential debate organized by SMNI News, the only televised election forum that Marcos attended during the campaign period.

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During the debate, Carlos mostly asked the candidates about their policies when it comes to foreign relations. She is also known as the panelist who asked Marcos whether he thinks of himself as a “Machiavellian.”

"Am I Machiavellian? Well, I've studied him quite thoroughly, and I know very many Machiavellians in my life," Marcos told Carlos.

Carlos asked Marcos to clarify if he referred to being Machiavellian as "taking every means to produce an end," and "not the other, bad Machiavellian."

"Certainly," Marcos responded, adding that it's about knowing the situation on the ground to help achieve success.

What role will Carlos play as NSA?

As National Security Adviser, Carlos will head the secretariat of the National Security Council, the principal advisory body of the president on national security and foreign policy.

The council’s primary task is to advise the president on national security matters, supervise the government’s intelligence bodies, and coordinate efforts to achieve the country’s security and strategic objectives.

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Carlos will take over the position to be vacated by former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr., one of the principal defenders of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC.

The NTF-ELCAC, the government’s anti-terrorism task force, has been accused of “red-tagging” individuals and groups critical to the administration of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.


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