President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday again offered the Defense portfolio to Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro as he disclosed his plan to appoint Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as ambassador to an unspecified country.
In a speech before military officers in Malacañang, Duterte announced that he will appoint Lorenzana as an ambassador, which will create a vacancy in his Cabinet.
The President said he has asked someone to relay his invitation to Teodoro.
“I hope he does accept,” Duterte said.
Teodoro, 52, a former congressman and presidential candidate, served as Defense chief under the Arroyo administration.
Duterte first offered Teodoro the Defense post in May, when it was clear that he had won the presidency. But the former lawmaker gave no commitment, prompting the President to appoint Lorenzana.
Lorenzana, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1973, retired in 2004 as a two-star general. His last post was Defense and Armed Forces attaché to Washington.
Duterte said an ambassadorial post has to be filled right away and that he thought of Lorenzana for the position.
The President did not mention any particular country, but a Palace source said Lorenzana will be appointed ambassador to the United States.
The Philippines currently has no ambassador to the US. Former ambassador Jose Cuisia, an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd, left his post when the new administration took over.