Teodoro steps down today to focus on campaign
- James Mananghaya () - November 16, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. will step down today to prepare for his campaign for next year’s presidential elections.

On the eve of his resignation, Teodoro took his son Jaime Gilberto to the Armed Forces gym at Camp Aguinaldo to join hundreds of soldiers watch the fight between boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.

“I tried my best,” he said when asked how he would rate himself as defense secretary and overseer of the Armed Forces and the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

The 45-year-old Teodoro called on the public to support his successor, national security adviser Norberto Gonzales.

“It’s the President’s choice, he has experience at the department already,” he said.

“He is a civilian so I mean that is the choice of the Commander-in-Chief, ‘yan ang choice ni presidente and we must support her choice.”

Teodoro took pride in the DND’s effort to curb corruption and malpractice during his two-year watch.

“I’m very glad to report more people, each and every one of us could be part, that there have been no scandals, there have been attempts, but we have nipped them in the bud,” he said.

‘Gibo, Edu drawing raves’

The tandem of Teodoro and former Optical Media Board chairman Edu Manzano for next year’s presidential and vice-presidential elections is drawing raves, according to an official of the pro-administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

Ray Roquero, Lakas-Kampi-CMD deputy secretary-general and overall convention director, said Teodoro and Manzano will be officially proclaimed as the party’s standard-bearers during their national convention at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Nov. 19.

“All eyes will be on this convention,” he said.

“This is a feast for the eyes, an appeal to the heart and a pitch to the intellect. We are transitioning from being the party of the present to the party of the future.”

Speaking over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Roquero said more than 4,000 party officials from the national down to the grassroots have been invited to the convention.

“The Convention will be conducted in a novel, creative, non-traditional way without losing the essence of a political convention,” he said.

Roquero said the convention will be energized by high-definition computer visuals, projected on a video wall, and a play of sounds and lights that projects the modern party’s overarching goal.

“Underlying the spectacle in the Filipino-themed convention is a modern rendering of the party’s marching song, which will be heard in the convention for the first time,” he said.

“The convention is a perfect mix of quiet dignity and compelling drama, of energy and inspiration to achieve the national goal. It will dwarf all other political conventions.”

Roquero said Mrs. Arroyo will head the list of VIP in attendance who will witness the proclamation of Teodoro and Manzano.

“There was a ringing affirmation of the President’s call for the party to transform itself from the party of the present to the party of the future,” he said.

“The new party leaders have the power to transform Philippine politics to the way it should be.”

Roquero said the country needs a leader that would inspire change in the values and behavior of citizens.

“We are looking ahead toward a course of greater economic liberalization and political reform,” he said. – With Jaime Laude               

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