MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he believed that there was no plot to oust Clarita Carlos as his national security adviser, contrary to his former Cabinet official’s claim that there were people in government who were “moving against” her.
Marcos made the statement in an interview with the media in Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday, January 20, when asked about Carlos’ resignation, which was reportedly prompted by constant attacks against the country’s first female national security adviser.
“Well, she felt that there were people who were moving against her in government. Ako (Me), I didn’t. I kept telling her, I don’t really think so,” Marcos said.
Carlos had told One News there were critics who had been trying to attack her reputation “since day 1.”
The President also said that Carlos did not “enjoy” her time in government because she used to work in the academe. Carlos has moved to the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives.
“And I guess…she didn’t enjoy her time in government, which you know, if we think about it, it’s not really surprising because that’s not her natural habitat. Her natural habitat is the academe. And so now, she will be in a think tank which is perfect for her,” he said.
Marcos’ statement, however, contradicted Carlos’ explanation about her resignation. In an interview with broadcaster Anthony Taberna on January 15, she said that she and Marcos talked, and the President revealed a “problem” that prompted her to offer her resignation.
“Of course, until last Saturday (January 14), nang nilahad sa ’kin ni Presidente na some of which, because of national security concerns, hindi natin masisiwalat…. Pero ang nangyari kasi, binigay sa ’kin ni Presidente ‘yong terrain,” Carlos said.
(Of course, until last Saturday, when the President explained things to me, some of which I cannot say because of national security concerns…. But what happened was, the President gave me the terrain.)
“And I said, ‘Ah, ganyan pala ‘yan. So hindi ko ‘yan alam. So Mr. President, magresign na lang ako para maresolba na ‘yang problema mo kasi wala naman, no big deal naman ‘yan. Eh ‘di I go back sa think tank ko and like that.”
(And I said, ‘Ah, so that’s it. I didn’t know that. So Mr. President, I will just resign so your problem will be resolved, because it’s not a big deal. I will just go back to my think tank and like that.)
Carlos added that the President told her that as the NSA, there are “factors and forces” surrounding her designation.
“Sabi niya, ‘No, you should stay kasi, we really need your expertise. Kaya lang as NSA, meron talagang mga, may mga factors and forces na talagang nagwo-work around us that will make you,’ how did they put it? Hindi ko na nga matandaan.”
(He said, “No, you should stay because we really need your expertise. However, as the NSA, there are other factors and forces that really work around us that make you,’ how did they put it? I don’t even remember.)
Malacañang announced Carlos’ resignation exactly a week ago – on January 14 – and of the appointment of former interior secretary Eduardo Año as the new national security adviser.
Carlos, a political scientist and retired University of the Philippines professor, was the first woman to handle the post, at least since the first Marcos president – the current President’s father and namesake – was in power. She was also the first National Security Council (NSC) director general in a long time to have come from the academe – most NSC chiefs have been former military officials or politicians.– Rappler.com