Outgoing DND officer-in-charge Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Outgoing Department of National Defense (DND) officer-in-charge Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday thanked President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for giving him the opportunity to lead the agency even just for a few months.

This came after Marcos named lawyer Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro Jr. as the country's new Defense Secretary on Monday.

"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., for entrusting me to lead the Department over the last few months. I also thank the entire One Defense Team, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and our civilian bureaus, for their support during my tenure as the officer-in-charge of the Department," Galvez said.

Galvez was named DND officer-in-charge last Jan. 9 following the resignation of his predecessor, retired AFP chief Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. earlier that month.

Galvez is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985 and served as the 50th AFP chief from April 18 to December 11, 2018.

"The DND welcomes the appointment of Atty. Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. as the new Secretary of National Defense," Galvez said.

Teodoro also served as DND chief from August 2007 to November 2009 in the administration of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was also the former congressman of Tarlac (1st District).

Teodoro also served as the chairperson of the National Disaster Coordinating Council during his tenure as DND chief. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce, majoring in Financial Institutions from the De La Salle University-Manila.

Teodoro completed his law degree, graduated at the top of his class at the University of the Philippines, and was the topnotcher in the 1989 Philippine Bar Examinations.

Teodoro also has a Masters of Law degree from Harvard University and is a licensed commercial pilot.

He was recognized as a Leadership Awardee and Seminar Academic Excellence Awardee during his time at the Air Command and Staff College, Air Education and Training Command Philippine Air Force Command and Staff Course in 2001.

In 2003, he attended the Joint and Combined Staff Officers Course, Class No. 1, JCSC in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City where he was honored as a Leadership Awardee.

"We have achieved great strides in our priority programs on internal security, territorial defense, disaster preparedness, and the continued development of the defense organization. Rest assured that the DND has my unequivocal support as we all work together in the pursuit of our vision of a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Philippines," Galvez added.

AFP welcomes new DND chief

As this developed, the AFP on Tuesday said it welcomes Teodoro's appointment as the new DND chief.

"The AFP welcomes the appointment of Atty. Gilbert Teodoro(Jr.) as the new Secretary of National Defense and commits its all-out support to the new leadership of the One Defense Team," AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a statement.

He also added that Teodoro's decisive leadership, professional competence and wealth of experience, highlighted by his previous assignment as the defense chief from 2007 to 2009, will help in furthering gains made in the defense and security of the country.

"The AFP also renders its snappiest salute to Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the outgoing DND officer in charge, for his inspiring and dedicated leadership in the Defense Department. Thank you for your service, Sir!"Aguilar said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also welcomed Teodoro's appointment as the new DND chief

"Sec. Teodoro’s strategic insights, deep understanding of international relations, and staunch commitment to strengthening our national defense will be crucial in shaping our country’s security policies and in facing future security challenges," the DILG said in a press statement.

The agency also said it is looking forward to working closely with the new DND chief and assured its support for his policies and programs for the general security and peace of the country. 

National Security Adviser (NSA) Eduardo Año also welcomed Teodoro's appointment as DND chief.

"As a former holder of the defense portfolio, Secretary Teodoro already carries with him a wealth of experience that will greatly assist in our march towards total victory against communist terrorism as well as in protecting our maritime entitlements and defending our territorial integrity in the face tensions in the West Philippine Sea," he added.

Ano said they are looking forward to working closely with the new DND chief in facing the ever-changing threats to the country's national security.

"Likewise, we thank Secretary Charlie Galvez for efficiently taking care of the Defense Department during the period and we wish him good luck to his new assignment," he added. (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)