Early in life, Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gilbert” Cojuangco Teodoro, Jr., already showed the makings of a leader and public servant. In his youth, he was elected President of the then Kabataang Barangay for Central Luzon and later, member of the Sanguniang Panlalawigan of Tarlac from 1980 to 1986.
After completing his primary education at the Xavier School, he then pursued his secondary studies at the same school as he also dabbled his involvement in political offices and organizations.
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 1985.
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 holds memberships in the following— Integrated Bar of the Philippines, UP Alumni Association, UP Law Alumni Association, Harvard Alumni Association and the Harvard Law Alumni Association.
In 1998, Secretary Teodoro resumed his interrupted political pursuits when he ran and successfully won a seat in Congress. He was Congressman of the First District of Tarlac for three (3) consecutive terms. At the House, he was an Assistant Majority Leader (11th Congress), Head of the Nationalist People’s Coalition House members and a member of the House contingent to the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.
It was during his three-year terms that he forged friendships and memberships with individuals and institutions, including military.
His desire to learn the intricacies involved in the military prompted him to take the Command and Staff Course Class at the Air Command and Staff College of the Philippine Air Force in 2001, where he was the Leadership and Seminar Academic Excellence Awardee. Two years later, he also completed his Joint and Combined Staff Officers Course at the Joint Command and Staff College where he, too, was bestowed the Leadership Award.
Secretary Teodoro, a licensed commercial pilot with a rating in Lear Jet 31, is a reserve colonel in the Philippine Air Force. He was also an assistant faculty member of the Command and General Staff Course and a lecturer at the Air Command Staff College.
Secretary Teodoro has also since been very supportive of various undertakings by the military and the police. As such, he holds the chairmanship of the Philippine National Police Foundation Inc. he is also an Honorary member of the PMA Alumni Association Sponsoring Class – ’76, Philippine Air Force Aviation Cadet Alumni Association Sponsoring Class – ’80, Association of Chiefs of Police of the Philippines, Inc., and a lifetime member of the Armor-Cavalry Association of the Philippines
Secretary Teodoro is also the recipient of numerous military awards, decorations and commendations such as—the Basic RASS Aeronautical Badge, Honorary Command Pilot, the Caliber .45 Pistol Expert Marksmanship Badge, M-16 Rifle Marksmanship Badge, Military Merit Medal, AFP General Staff Course Badge, Presidential Flight Crew Badge, Military Civic Action Medal (Plain), Military Civic Action Medal with Bronze Service Star, and the Military Civic Action Medal with Second Service Star.
Secretary Teodoro, son of the former SSS Administrator Gilberto, Sr., and Mercedes Cojuangco, has a string of accomplishments and notable achievements to his name. At 43, he serves as the youngest Secretary to hold the Defense portfolio.
Secretary Teodoro is married to Representative Monica Prieto-Teodoro; they have one son – Jaime Gilberto.