33rd Secretary of National Defense
2007 – 2009
Honorable Gilberto “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.
For 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 same year.Secretary 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.