Losing 'humbles, matures you': Gibo Teodoro on 2010 presidential defeat

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2021 11:10 AM | Updated as of Jun 07 2021 11:55 AM

Then Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro (L) is seen during a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon, suburban Manila on April, 14 2008 as armed forces chief of staff General Hermogenes Esperon (R) looks on. Jay Directo, AFP Photo

MANILA - Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro denied Monday he resented the Lakas-CMD Party after his loss to former President Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 elections.

Teodoro, who recently met with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio sparking talks of a possible team-up in next year's polls, said he is no longer with the Lakas-CMD party and that he would like to remain independent.

"Of course, naturally, losing is not an easy thing to go through. It humbles you, it matures you, it makes you more realistic in life. And it opened up a lot of opportunities to be in the private sector learning a lot," he told ANC's Headstart, his first media interview in 10 years.

"Dapat, ang sama ng loob, sa COVID (Our resentment should be against COVID). We can’t afford it right now. Disappointment of course. You put your heart (in it), you get disappointed, you move on. The private sector welcomed me, and I learned a lot."

Teodoro said he met with Duterte-Carpio, the president's daughter, last week following a call with former Budget Secretary and congressman Rolando Andaya Jr. The two former officials were members of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's cabinet. 

Teodoro, who is turning 57 on June 14, said he would "gladly" back up Duterte-Carpio as vice president if she decides to run for president next year. In January, the Davao City mayor appealed to those who want her to run for president to wait until 2034.

Teodoro, a lawyer and also a former congressman, said he made calls after many people suggested his return to public service. At the start of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration, he declined offers for him to become Defense Secretary again.

When asked if he would consult Arroyo, Lakas-CMD party President emeritus, Teodoro said he would only seek advice from people who were "positive contributors to unity in the country."

Teodoro said his wife, former Tarlac Rep. Monica Prieto-Teodoro, was the "strongest voice" that convinced him to return to public office.

"For me, at first it was the pandemic. But the strongest voice was my wife because she said, this is the time for everybody to help," he said.

It was a "process" to convince Teodoro to return to public service, said his wife who serves as the country's special envoy to UNICEF.

"It started maybe the beginning of the pandemic. Like maybe February, we were abroad and we kinda got stuck there... Gilbert’s been out of the limelight for so long, you can’t just jump in like that," she said.

"But what got us was that mayor Sara and I have such strong ties for children. When I went to Gilbert and Cong. Andaya, it was just so obvious. Sara and I had a long talk, maybe as long as Gilbert and her."

The death of Teodoro's uncle, business tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr., had left a void but was also "quite freeing," said Prieto-Teodoro.

"Tito Danding had a big impact and he has left a legacy. The thing is, Gilbert has always been independent. You know it was all separate from family," she said.
 
"We have to admit also, the political dynamic has changed. There's a new set of leaders, a new set of voters and the divide between X and Y has been so big, so you need to close that gap in order to help the country," Teodoro added.

The former defense chief said he could not yet say for now if he would run for other positions in next year's elections.

"That’s something for events to determine...Those are options that I cannot answer right now. Right now, all I’m willing to do is back her (Duterte-Carpio) up as vice president," he said.

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