Viewed by many political pundits as the ‘best president Philippine never had’, former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro on Monday, June 7 said that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte should run for president in 2022, citing her independence of mind, good managerial skills and ability to unite the country.
A decade after losing the presidential race and disappearing from public limelight, Teodoro also clarified reports that a Duterte-Teodoro tandem in next year’s presidential race is a “done deal’.
He explained that while he and Mayor Duterte discussed national issues for one-and-half-hour during his Davao City visit last week, there was nothing clear about this.
Teodoro was accompanied by his wife, Philippine’s special envoy to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Nikki Prieto-Teodoro and former Tarlac Rep. former Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. to Davao City.
Clearly, what Andaya revealed that a 2022 team up between Duterte and Teodoro is a “done deal” was inaccurate , the former House minority leader and Tarlac solon made clarification of what transpired during the Davao City visit.
“What happened was Nonoy (Andaya) said ‘president, vice president’, then she (Duterte) just smiled,” explained Teodoro during an interview with ANC’s Karen Davila.
The former president of Lakas-CMD party stressed: “This is what I will stick to and to be fair with anyone, I think she should run. I think she would be a good candidate and I am willing to support her, to be her vice president if she chooses to.” “My impression of Mayor Sara talking about (national) issues is that she will make a very good president for this country. She would have the ability to unite a lot of people, she has an independent mind, she has managerial skills running a very complex city like Davao,” said Teodoro.
Duterte, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, agrees that the priority at the moment and possible until the next two years is “getting everybody vaccinated and getting the economy going and recovery, recalled Teodoro.
Teodoro defended the mayor from accusations that running for president will be tantamount to involvement to the frowned upon building of political dynasty on the national level.
He pointed out that there had already been two parent and child chief executives in the country, referring to the late president Diosdado Macapagal and his daughter, former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and that of the late President Corazon C. Aquino and her son, former President Benigno Aquino III.
“ I think we cannot consider Mayor Sara to be within the spirit of what a political dynasty is. She is quite independent-minded and she knows what to do, management wise,” Teodoro stressed Asked why he chose to seek the vice presidential post, Teodoro explained that he intends to help the country take a shot at ‘unified leadership, go forward and recover as soon as possible.” Teodoro ran for president in 2010 and led the Lakas-CMD coalition at the height of the then ruling party’s unpopularity on account of allegations of massive graft and corruption under the outgoing Arroyo administration.
The 1989 bar topnotcher disappeared from public view in the next decade following 2019 before making the headlines again with his call on Mayor Duterte. In 2016, he turned down an offer by the Duterte government to be its defense chief.
Teodoro admitted that it was his wife, a former Tarlac congresswoman, who strongly convinced him to offer himself to public service as both of them noted that the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will continue to seriously threaten public health and the economy.
“Everybody must give his best effort on how he/she can help,” he said.
On what a Duterte-Teodoro can offer the country after long years of absence, Teodoro said they “bridge both the needs of the private sector and the regulatory point of view.” He added that both of them have “independence of mind” and do not belong to major political parties in the country.