PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — DEFENSE Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro’s presidential bid got another boost after leaders of the so-called “Solid North” endorsed his candidacy.
Teodoro was in Candon, Ilocos Sur, on Tuesday to attend the 60th birthday celebration of Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson, who heads the Northern Luzon block at the House, which counts as members, 31 Ilocano-speaking solons from the Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan regions.
Singson publicly announced his full support for Teodoro’s impending candidacy before local and provincial leaders and thousands of his cheering constituents, who were impressed to learn of the defense chief’s qualifications and his being a genuine Ilocano who can speak the dialect fluently.
“Our guest today will be the next President of the Republic. He is a proud son of the North and the Ilokano people will rally behind him all the way,” said Singson, who is also a stalwart of the administration party Lakas-Kampi- CMD.
Singson urged leaders of the so-called Northern Alliance to help Teodoro secure the “solid Ilokano” voters and to come together to support his bid.
He described Teodoro as intelligent and a strong leader with integrity and whose competence is unquestionable.
The North is considered to be Teodoro’s political stronghold. His frequent trips in the region is widely viewed as a move to fortify his “bailiwick,” and to ensure the support of local leaders who are members of the ruling coalition, in time for the selection process of the merged party’s standard bearer.
Teodoro is fast emerging as a favorite frontrunner among presidential hopefuls eyeing the endorsement of the ruling party.
He is said to be enjoying wide support among party members for openly seeking the coalition’s endorsement and being unafraid to be identified with the administration.
Prior to his appointment as the youngest secretary to hold the defense portfolio at the age of 43, Teodoro was a three-term congressman representing the first district of Tarlac.