“Gilbert” Cojuangco Teodoro, Jr. is the youngest Secretary to hold
the Defense portfolio at the age of 43, when he assumed the post in
August 2007. As head of the Department of National Defense, Secretary
Teodoro is keen on ably pursuing Philippine defense reforms and is
determined to make the defense and military establishment truly
responsive to the needs and aspirations of the Filipino people.
Before he became the
Secretary of National Defense, he was Congressman of the First District
of Tarlac for three (3) consecutive terms starting 1998.
At the House, he assumed the position of Assistant Majority
Leader (11th Congress) and Head of the Nationalist People’s
Coalition House members. He was also a member of the House contingent to
the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.
His passion for public
service and aptitude for leadership is evident even at a very young age.
Shortly after he completed his secondary education at the Xavier School,
he was elected President of the Kabataang Barangay for Tarlac in 1980
and concurrently assumed Presidency of the Kabataang
Barangay for Central Luzon until 1985. He also became a member of
the Sanguniang Panlalawigan of Tarlac from 1980 to 1986.
Even with his hands full,
Secretary Teodoro successfully completed his Bachelor of Science in
Commerce, Major in Financial Institutions at the De La Salle University
in 1984. Since then, he focused his sights on acquiring for himself
further education and knowledge to aid him in his desire to pursue
public service. In 1989, he completed his Law studies at the University
of the Philippines where he was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Academic
Excellence. In the same
year, he topped the Philippine Bar exams.
seven years, he honed his skills as a lawyer in the famed EP Mendoza Law
firm. Armed with years of experience, he went to the Harvard Law School
in Cambridge for his Master of Laws and completed it in 1997. He was also admitted to the State Bar of New York during the
Teodoro, who holds distinct memberships in the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines, UP Alumni Association, UP Law Alumni Association, Harvard
Alumni Association and the Harvard Law Alumni Association, is also a
licensed commercial pilot and a Colonel in the Philippine Air Force
Reserve. He is the son of the former SSS Administrator Gilberto, Sr.,
and Mercedes Cojuangco and is married to Representative Monica
Prieto-Teodoro; they have one son – Jaime Gilberto.