MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former defense chief Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro Jr denied reports that he has already declined president-elect Rodrigo Duterte's offer for him to again lead the Department of National Defense (DND).
Teodoro told Rappler on Sunday, May 22, that he has yet to decide.
"The importance of the position to the national interest requires no less than serious consultation especially with the President-elect before accepting such, in order to ensure that a prospective Secretary is the right choice," he said.
Duterte was himself quoted in other reports as saying that Teodoro had already declined. Rappler is trying to reach the president-elect's camp for comment and clarification.
In a video of Duterte's press conference late Saturday night, May 21, he said, "Gibo has begged off. I have in mind a military man although retired. I have to talk to him."
Yet Teodoro said, "I have not decided yet."
Last May 16, after meeting with Duterte in Davao City, Teodoro had said that he would think about the offer.
"He [Duterte] told me earlier he wanted me to consider it and I answered that it's not a decision I can make on my own. I have to consult my family and other commitments I have made," Teodoro told reporters at the time. (READ: List of who's who in the incoming Duterte Cabinet)
The 51-year-old Teodoro 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. – Rappler.com