2022 Philippine senatorial race

Former defense chief Gibo Teodoro files candidacy for senator

Bea Cupin

File photo

The former defense chief earlier offered to run for vice president alongside Sara Duterte

Former defense secretary and defeated 2010 presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. filed his candidacy for senator on Thursday, October 7.

In a Facebook post, Teodoro explained that he filed via proxy because he is currently isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. He is running under People’s Reform Party (PRP) of the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. 

Despite testing positive, Teodoro said he was “in good spirits.” It’s been over a decade since Teodoro held a government post.

Teodoro had earlier offered to run as vice president alongside Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte. Teodoro flew to Davao in June 2021 to speak to Sara in person

Teodoro himself has links to the older Duterte – he was offered the defense chief post twice in the early months of the administration.

Teodoro represented the 1st district of Tarlac from 1998 to 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he was former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s defense secretary. He ran for president in 2010 under the then-ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD but lost to his cousin, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

The younger Duterte has insisted that she has no plans of seeking the presidency in 2022, despite topping early presidential preference surveys and the urging of both followers and her father’s political allies. Sara filed her candidacy for Davao mayor on Saturday, October 2, minutes after her father announced he would be retiring from politics. 

President Duterte was supposed to run for vice president under the Cusi-led PDP-Laban, with his long-time aide Senator Bong Go as president. But Go declined the nomination twice, while Duterte accepted it.

On September 30, or the day before the start of filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for both national and local posts, Duterte informed PDP-Laban that he was turning down the nomination. Go took his place instead. 

PDP-Laban has yet to announce a standard-bearer for 2022. The ruling party is also dealing with internal strife – there’s the group led by Energy chief Alfonso Cusi backed by President Duterte, and the group led by Senators Koko Pimentel and Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao is running for president under PROMDI, even as his faction insists they are the legitimate PDP-Laban faction. 

Jun Evasco, who was former campaign manager of Duterte and his Cabinet secretary, recently joined PRP. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.