Gibo gets CA nod as DND chief


DEFENSE Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. on Wednesday got the nod of the Commission on Appointments after enduring a long grilling on, among others, plans to secure Philippine maritime rights and joint exploration for oil and gas with other countries.

Teodoro Jr. faced the bicameral congressional Commission on Appointment’s Committee on National Defense, which deliberated on his ad interim appointment as head of the Department of National Defense.

During the hearing, Sen. Cynthia Villar asked Teodoro Jr. whether it is possible to develop Recto Bank for the country’s energy security. Recto Bank is an underwater reef formation that reportedly contains huge reserves of oil and natural gas in the West Philippine Sea.

“I have read that we will lose our source of gas in a few years from the Malampaya and I have also read that there is gas in the Recto bank. Do you think we can develop the Recto Bank based on your opinion as the Department of National Defense chief?” Villar asked the defense chief, who replied that it is the country’s “sovereign right” to conduct gas exploration in Recto Bank.

The Commission on Appointments also deliberated on the nominations and ad interim appointments of 11 generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Teodoro was first appointed as defense secretary during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The CA panel approved his appointment along with the nominations and ad interim appointments of 11 generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for plenary confirmation.

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri manifested his support for Teodoro Jr. as the secretary of National Defense. Zubiri said he had known Teodoro for over 30 years, even before he entered politics and had known the latter’s wife even longer since Teodoro’s mother-in-law was the best friend of his parents.

“We were together in the 11th, 12th and 13th Congresses. When it comes to his reputation, I can tell you it has never been besmirched in any category. No issues of corruption,” Zubiri said. He said he campaigned for Teodoro when he ran for vice president in 2010 and that Teodoro, a brilliant man, could draft a resolution extemporaneously when he was in Congress.

“If there is a man that is fit for the job of defense secretary, I think he is just not qualified but he is over qualified for he job. He has my full 1,000 percent support,” Zubiri added.

Sen. Imee Marcos also supported the confirmation of Teodoro. Marcos cited Teodoro’s decades-long experience in public service, starting with his stint at the Kabataang Barangay in Central Luzon. “Time, certainly, has not dimmed his brilliance,” Marcos said.