Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who is Gibo Teodoro?

Had he not declared his intention to run for the highest post in the land, I wouldn’t have known Gilberto Eduardo Gerardo "Gibo" Cojuangco Teodoro, Jr. According to his online biography, he was the youngest person who was appointed as Secretary of the Department of National Defense at the age of 43 and now he was aiming to become the third national defense secretary to become president after Ramon Magsaysay in 1953 and Fidel V. Ramos in 1992 with the administration machinery behind him.

I don’t know if it is a good thing that the former secretary and three-term congressman was keeping a low profile and not as well-known as the other presidential contenders as it may mean that he was not implicated in any government scandals but it could also mean that whatever he did as a legislator and a cabinet secretary did not impact the lives of ordinary citizens.

Admittedly, Gibo, as this was his chosen campaign name, is one of the most eloquent and smartest among the presidential candidates. After all, he was a bar topnotcher and was Harvard-educated. He also appears convincing and confident during presidential debates. He appears to have a good grasp of social and political issues. No wonder, youths easily bought his “Galing at Talino” slogan and I believe that some are inclined to support him.

Will his “Galing at Talino” slogan enough to win the Presidency?

If you will believe the surveys that are coming out, then Gibo clearly fell short. He has not even reached the two digit mark on his rating, placing only a far fourth in this nine-cornered fight. Some blame it on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s supposed kiss-of-death. They may be right to some extent but I don’t think that this is the only reason. Had Gibo used his “galing at talino” to successfully reform the Department of National Defense or had he provided excellent emergency response during Ondoy and other typhoons that hit the county, I’m sure he will not have a hard time convincing people to vote for him.

Unfortunately for him, his stint in the Defense Department was forgettable. Sure, he tried to reform the DND and called for more funds for the military modernization program, but was he successful? Was he able to stop corruption in the department? Can you still remember the boxes of firearms and ammunition that were dug by the military during the wake of the Maguindano massacre? The boxes even had the tag of the DND. Gibo was too quick to defend himself that those firearms were released not during his term as secretary which was probably true. But what the incident was able to establish was corruption was rampant in the department. The question is what did he do to clean the department during his watch? Was he able to catch anybody? Or this is just like one of the many ills of this administration that this gentleman doesn’t know about. What kind of leadership can he offer to the public if he is turning a blind eye to the many anomalies and scandals hounding the government?

Gibo was also one of the first to release infomercials last year about disaster preparedness. He was not yet Gibo back then but simply Gilbert Teodoro, he spelled out his last name TEODORO as an acronym on what to do in case of emergency. However, when Ondoy struck, it appeared that he himself and the disaster council had made no prior preparations for disaster. If you were living in Marikina or Cainta, you will know what I’m talking about. It took days before the rescue came if it ever came.

If the election was held after the onslaught of Ondoy, I will hands-down vote for Dick Gordon who heads the Red Cross at that time as he was clearly more prepared than Gibo. Gibo was clearly ill-prepared so he did what he can do better at that time, speak on TV and radio.

I’ve searched the internet even Gibo’s own website for bills or laws that he authored that may have benefited Filipinos. I was looking for bills reflecting his “Galing and Talino” but I was disappointed with what I have discovered. Most of the House bills he authored were bills converting Tarlac municipal roads to national roads and colleges to universities. Like Noynoy Aquino, he also served three terms as representative of the first district of Tarlac and was even an assistant minority leader in the 11th congress. Observers say that Gibo is best remembered not for the bills he authored but for the political moves that he supported or even initiated in the house.

In 2003, he led his party mates in the Nationalist People’s Coalition in a controversial move to impeach the then Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide that almost resulted in a constitutional crisis. Sure, it was a bold move but he was later accused of acting in the interests of his uncle Danding Cojuangco, founder of his old party Nationalist People’s Coalition, who had pending cases to the high court.

And how can he prove that he is not a GMA lap dog when he has consistently supported efforts to amend the Constitution and voted against all moves to impeach the president?

Do we really need a president with “Galing and Talino”? If these qualifications are what the country needs at this time then I can’t help but to wonder why we are in our present state after prolonged years of leadership from brilliant minds like the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I don’t think that anybody can question the intelligence and competence of these two leaders.

Will I vote for Gibo Teodoro? Not at this time. I may consider voting for him if he is running for the Senate or Congress but not quite for the presidency.


fetus said...

i agree. i won't be voting for gibo too.

Recel said...

I agree. I won't be voting for him as well.

I was in Manila last November and I couldn't believe I saw a lot of posters of him along Roxas Blvd. I thought it was too early to do that. Well, he's GMA's man anyway, so I need not wonder.


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