President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has designated Carlito Galvez Jr. as the new secretary of the Department of Defense (DND), following the resignation of its officer in charge, Jose Faustino Jr.

Malacañang announced the president’s acceptance of Faustino’s resignation on Friday.

“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,” Office of the Press Secretary officer in charge Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said in a statement.

Galvez led the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, the neutralization of more than 2,000 terrorists, the recovery of thousands of firearms and the clearing of seven guerrilla fronts when he was in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He was chief implementer of the country’s National Action Plan against Covid-19 under President Rodrigo Duterte.

In 2020, Duterte designated him vaccine czar. He led the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

The DND said Galvez’s military experience would be an asset to the department.

“With [Secretary] Galvez’s years of experience as a military commander and as a civilian public servant, we are confident that he will be able to effectively lead the department as we fulfill our mandates to the nation,” DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro