If there is one presidential candidate that really embodies his slogan, he must be Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro. With his “galing at talino” (skill and intelligence), he can really be the most suitable candidate for the job.
His galing and talino can be traced from his leadership, various achievements and political track record. When he was still 16 years old, he was elected Kabataang Barangay president in Tarlac, his hometown. Concurrently, he became the Kabataang Barangay president in Central Luzon in five years. He was also a bona fide member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Tarlac for six years (1980-1986).
He continued his tertiary education at the De La Salle University – Manila with a degree of Bachelor of Science major in Financial Institutions in 1984. He discovered that he has an affinity to law that caused him to take up Law at the University of the Philippines, where he also received the Dean's Medal for Academic in 1989. On that same year, he also topped the Philippine Bar Exam. Subsequently, he then passed the New York State Bar Exam in 1997. He completed his Master's Degree in Harvard Law School in Massachusetts.
He was also the former Secretary of National Defense. During his term, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was able to buy various pieces of equipment given its meager budget. Thus, he was able to modernize AFP during his term (2008). He was also able to curb corruption by introducing civilians into the military hierarchy to handle non-military position (e.g. finance). He was also able to eliminate 70% of corruption in the AFP.
Currently, he is the chairperson of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) where one of his accomplishments is that he was able to organize more disaster coordinating councils down to the levels of barangays and volunteer groups which could increase the efficiency of NDCC and OCD (Office of Civil Defense). He was also able to purchase rubber boats to make rescue operations more efficient.
Being equipped with all those experiences, he is surely ready to serve the country. In fact, in every presidential forum that he participates in, he speaks of his platforms, his plans, his vision for the country instead of dwelling on his past accomplishments. He prefers to look and anticipate the future.
If ever he'd win the presidential race, education will surely be one of his priorities. He desires to improve the current curriculum in schools today because he has observed that it is light on Math, English and technical skills. He also desires to have a college graduate in every family, so he designed a loan system for the students. In this loan system, a student applies for a loan and after receiving it, he is given a Social Security System (SSS) number. As soon as the student gets his first paycheck, it will register that he is getting a 'salary' and deductions could be made to repay the loan.
He will also be strict in reinforcing the capability of local government units in handling the pork barrel for he believes that the pork barrel is utilized for projects which could be of benefit to the country. In short, he won't completely eradicate pork barrel but he'll correct his fellow politicians on how to use them responsibly.
Gibo thinks that the best way to improve our economy is to seriously invest on infrastructures. He'll do this because he does not want anything to be wasted – time, fuel, lives – just because the transportation system is not efficient enough. Actually, investing on infrastructure isn't his only way to improve our economy. He also believes that expanding foreign trade and investments can help improve our ecoonomy. By doing so, GDP growth can be sustained at 7-8 percent within the context of globalization.
He also promises to support the agriculture sector. According to Gibo, the said sector must be enhanced to ensure food security and the advancement of the country. This could be made possible by giving investments and incentives to farmers. He also emphasized the need to modernize this sector by for example, having a decent farm to market road. He also said that scientists should continue working on research and development in order to create quick-growing rice varieties and other food crops.
In line with this, Gibo notes that Maguindanao has some of the most fertile lands in Mindanao. Thus, developing and expanding the province's irrigation through the Marshal Plan type of economic package is a key to unlock the potentials of Maguindanao that could double or triple its current agricultural yield. But in order to fully unlock the potentials of the said province, there must be a consistent defense system in the province to reconstruct it wholly.
Those are only some of Gibo's plans for our country which he wishes to be implemented through winning this presidential race. More plans continue to unfold as the 2010 elections apprach. But no matter how concrete his plans are, some people shut their minds to not vote for him because he is running under the administration – a “successor” of PGMA (as what his detractors call him). Yes, even his supporters admit that being the standard bearer of the administration is a kiss of death. There are narrow-minded individuals who think that electing Gibo for presidential seat is equivalent to having President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's regime for another six years. They think that Gibo is PGMA's tuta or puppet. They think that Gibo is exactly is just the same as PGMA.
But he firmly stands on his ground and steadfastly debunks the “myth”: he would never ever be PGMA's puppet. On his interview in TV Patrol World in the segment “Juan on 1”, he said, “Ako po'y hindi magpapakatuta kahit kanino dahil ang pinakamahalangang pinamana sa akin ng aking ama ay ang kanyang apelido. Nanilbihan ang aking ama noong panahon ni Pres. Marcos pero ni isang kusing sa SSS, hindi nagalaw sa katiwalian. 'Di ko sisirain ang pangalan ng aking ama.”
Also, in a presidential forum “Isang Tanong” aired in GMA 7, he was asked if he would be the president of the Philippines, would he take part in the active investigation of corrupt charges against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He said that “investigation of cases is not part of a president's responsibilities, it is the responsibility of the judiciary. A president should not interfere with the judicial proceeding.” Hence, we can conclude that he would never protect anyone no matter how powerful that person is, whether he/she belongs to the administration or the opposition. He would not let his personal interest hinder his making of sound judgment – he knows his limitations if ever he'd be elected as the president of our country. He will make sure that justice reigns.
(to be edited soooooooonnnn…. more points to be added. :P)