DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 December) — The incoming Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is the fourth retired general and third Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to head the 25-year old Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Newly-retired General Carlito Galvez told MindaNews he will formally assume the post of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) on December 20.
President Rodrigo Duterte named Galvez as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP), succeeding lawyer Jesus Dureza who resigned on November 27, 2018 after Duterte fired two of his subordinates due to corruption.
“By the way, before I forget, si General Galvez will join the Cabinet next week as the Secretary of the Peace Process Office,” President Duterte said at the change of command from Galvez to Gen. Benjamin Madrigal in Camp Aguinaldo on December 11.
The two other retired chiefs of staff who were named PAPP are the late Manuel Yan who served from 1994 to 2001 under the Ramos and Estrada administrations and Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., from May 2008 to January 31, 2009 under the Arroyo administration.
Esperon took over the PAPP a week or so after his retirement, Galvez will also take over a week after his retirement. Esperon and Galvez both took over the post from Dureza.
Another retired Army General, Eduardo Ermita, served as PAPP from 2001 to 2003, under the Arroyo administration. He was AFP Deputy Chief of Staff from 1986 to 1988 and Vice Chief of Staff in 1988. Avelino Razon, a retired police general who served as chief of the Philippine National Police, also served as PAPP, although only for a few months in 2009.
Yan was AFP Chief of Staff from 1968 to 1972, served as Ambassador from 1972 to 1992, and was Foreign Affairs Secretary for a few months in 1987. He also chaired the government peace panel in the negotiations with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from 1992 to 1996, with Ermita as his vice chair.
Yan signed the Final Peace Agreement on September 2, 1996 with MNLF chair Nur Misuari, after four years of negotiations.
Esperon was Chief of Staff from 22 July 2006 to 12 May 2008. He was named PAPP a week later, taking over from Dureza who was named Press Secretary. But his stint at the OPAPP was brief (until January 31, 2009) as he was moved to head the Presidential Management Staff.
Under Esperon’s watch, the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forged the Memorandum Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), initialed in Kuala Lumpur and was supposed to have been formally signed on August 5, 2008 in Kuala Lumpur. However, the Supreme Court a day earlier issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring the government from signing the agreement.
Esperon initialed the MOA-AD with then government peace panel chair Rodolfo Garcia, a retired Vice Chief of Staff.
The aborted signing triggered yet another wave of violence and displaced at least half a million residents and while government and the MILF each declared a suspension of military operations in late July 2009, talks resumed only in December 2009.
From Santos to Galvez
Before Galvez, the OPAPP has had eight PAPPS but 10 changes of administration since its birth in 1993 as Teresita Quintos-Deles and Dureza served as PAPP to two Presidents: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Simeon Aquino III for Deles, and Arroyo and Duterte for Dureza.
The first PAPP was Oscar Santos (1993-1995), followed by Yan (1994-2001), Ermita (2001-2003), Deles (2003-2005), Dureza (2005-2008), Esperon (2008-2009), Razon (2009), Annabelle Abaya (Oct 2009- 30 June 2010), Deles (01 July 2010 to June 30, 2016) and Dureza (July 1, 2016 to November 27, 2018).
Dureza succeeded Deles twice, in 2005 and in 2016. Two retired Chiefs of Staff succeeded Dureza: Esperon in 2008 and Galvez in 2018.
The 56-year old Galvez (see other story),a member of P Philippine Military Academy’s PMA Class 1985, spent most of his military career in Mindanao as company, battalion, brigade, division commander and head of the Western Mindanao. Command. He assumed the post of Chief of Staff on April 19, 2018. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)