MANILA, Philippines – Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro Jr has declined President Rodrigo Duterte’s second offer to lead the Department of National Defense, the Chief Executive said early Thursday morning, August 25.
“Ayaw niya e. Ayaw rin ni Gibo. Ibig sabihin, maghanap tayo ng iba (He doesn't want it. Gibo also doesn't want it. That means we need to look for others),” Duterte said during an early morning press conference in Davao City.
Duterte wanted Teodoro to replace Delfin Lorenzana as Defense Secretary, as he has asked the latter to be the country's ambassador to the United States.
But apparently, both Teodoro and Lorenzana are not keen on the positions offered to them.
Lorenzana had told the President that he preferred to remain in the Philippines.
“Sabi niya, ‘Mayor, kung talagang wala nang [iba], if you order me to accept the position, I will. Pero gusto ko rin na malaman mo na matanda na ako, mahirap ang buhay sa labas,’” said Duterte, recalling Lorenzana’s words to him.
(He said, ‘Mayor, if there is no one else, if you order me to accept the position, I will. But I want you to know that I am old, and life abroad is hard.)
Duterte called up Teodoro on Wednesday night to repeat his offer, but it seems that was when Teodoro declined.
“Coming in tonight, I called him and reiterated my [offer],” said Duterte.
He described Teodoro as a politician who might have been “disenchanted” from working in government, recalling the former defense chief's failed presidential bid in 2010.
Teodoro has not yet responded to Rappler’s request for comment on the matter.
Duterte declined to say who he has in mind for the position of US ambassador or defense secretary should Lorenzana change his mind.
Duterte has described Teodoro, his former lawyer, as "talented," "brilliant," and someone who "carries himself very well." – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.