Former peacekeeping chief named to DND
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - September 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has appointed retired Maj. Gen. Natalio Ecarma III, a former commander of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Golan Heights, as the sixth undersecretary of the Department of National Defense.

Aquino also designated Edwin Lopez, a former chief of staff in the House of Representatives of now Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, as one of the assistant secretaries of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

Ecarma and Lopez were among the 49 new appointments made by the President to various positions in the government.

Ecarma, a retired Marine officer, said he is grateful to President Aquino for giving him the opportunity to return to public service.

“I’m very much honored to continue serving the people. We will help the President achieve the straight path,” Ecarma said in a phone interview yesterday.

Asked what he could provide to the defense department as undersecretary, Ecarma said he has experience, idealism, and love for the country and its people.

Ecarma was named mission head and force commander of UN peacekeepers in Golan Heights in 2010, the first Filipino general to the unit that consists of soldiers from various countries.

A graduate of Philippine Military Academy class ’81, Ecarma was a former assistant chief of staff for operations of the Presidential Security Group, Philippine Marine Corps Chief of Staff, and Brigade Commander of the Combat and Service Support Brigade.

He oversaw peace and development projects when he was brigade commander in Sulu in 2007.

Lopez worked as second-in-command of Abaya when he was then Cavite congressman.

He likewise worked for now Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas – another stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party like Abaya – from 1998 to 1999, when the former senator was still a congressman from Capiz.

Aquino also appointed former rear admiral Lino Dabi of the Philippine Coast Guard as another assistant secretary of the DOTC.

The President designated as third DOTC assistant secretary lawyer Jaime Fortunato Caringal, who obtained his law degree from the University of the Philippines in 2003.

He earned his pre-law (political science) and graduated honorable mention at the Ateneo in 1999. With Alexis Romero

ABAYA AQUINO BRIGADE COMMANDER OF THE COMBAT AND SERVICE SUPPORT BRIGADE DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS ECARMA ECARMA AND LOPEZ EDWIN LOPEZ GOLAN HEIGHTS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PRESIDENT AQUINO
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