Gibo Teodoro arrives in Davao to meet with Duterte

Pia Ranada
Will the former defense chief return to the defense department?

FORMER DEFENSE CHIEF. Gilbert Teodoro says there is a need for a new agency more powerful than the current NDRRMC. Photo by Chay Hofileña/Rappler

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Former defense secretary and 2010 presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro Jr arrived in Davao City on Monday, May 16, on the day president-elect Rodrigo Duterte is set to receive guests, including diplomats and possible appointees to top Cabinet positions.

Teodoro was seen arriving at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport early Monday morning. His wife Monica Prieto-Teodoro confirmed Teodoro’s trip to Rappler. 

The 51-year-old Teodoro is widely thought to be one of Duterte’s top picks for Secretary of National Defense. Duterte has called Teodoro “brilliant” even before the election season. 

He served as defense chief under the Arroyo government and ran for president in 2010, a race won by his cousin, President Benigno Aquino III.

In August 2015, Teodoro was named board chairman of Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI). The appointment followed the completion of the sale of the majority stake previously held by Glencore International to Filipino-owned Alsons Prime Investment Corporation early this month.

Teodoro may be the “outside worker” Duterte has said he would have to “persuade to go back to government.” Duterte mentioned this on May 9, election day, when asked about his pick for Defense Secretary. He had also said he was choosing between the “outside worker” and a retired general widely thought to be former Armed Forces chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

Duterte is set to make his first public appearance after the elections on Monday afternoon. He is set to meet with the ambassadors of China, Israel, and Japan.

On Sunday night, May 15, he met with his top choices for chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, led by Southern Luzon Command chief Lieutenant General Ricardo Visaya and police Chief Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa. (READ: Duterte reveals top picks for AFP, PNP posts– Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.