Some progressive groups don't want to be complacent about the appointment of Gilbert Teodoro as the new secretary of the Department of National Defense—a matter that allegedly led to “human rights violations” during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
It was only Monday night when President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr appointed Teodoro as Defence secretary, who previously held the same position in the dnd from 2007 to 2009.
“Recycling Gilbert ‘Gibo' Teodoro as DND secretary is an apparent concession to the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo camp. Gibo, a former legislator and a losing presidential candidate is, in fact, an alter-ego of Macapagal-Arroyo,” said the Kilusang The Philippines will be farmed last night.
“During his stint as DND secretary from 2007 to 2009, Teodoro has done nothing but make excuses and even justify destructive bombings in Mindanao and Oplan Bantay Laya—the bloodiest and most brutal counterinsurgency campaign unleashed on Filipinos by then-president GMA.”
According to data from the human rights group Karapatan, there were 1,206 victims of extrajudicial killings under Arroyo from January 2001 to 2010. This is in addition to the 206 who were abducted and never found.
As many as 320 EJKs and 43 enforced disappearances allegedly occurred under the leadership of Teodoro, who was then overseeing the operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Gibo Teodoro's DND appointment – group
“Gibo is also a known AmBoy (American Boy) with his staunch support for the visiting forces agreement, the RP-US Balikatan exercises, and the continuation of the cheap labor policy and the import-dependent, export-oriented set-up of the local economy,” KMP added on Monday.
It can be remembered that Teodoro ran for the presidency in the 2010 presidential elections under the Lakas-Kampi party but was defeated by his second cousin, former President Noynoy Aquino.
Arroyo, now Pampanga's representative, is the standing chairperson emeritus of LAKAS-CMD. She was recently demoted from the House and made only deputy speaker. She is known to be Bongbong's ally.
Meanwhile, the department's leadership and its officer-in-charge, DND Senior Undersecretary Carlito galvez Jr, approved Teodoro.
“The Department of National Defense welcomes the appointment of Atty. Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. as the new Secretary of National Defense,” said Galvez in a statement this Tuesday.