MANILA— Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has appointed Gilberto Teodoro as defense minister, the presidential palace said in a statement on Monday.
Teodoro is a former lawmaker in the lower chamber of congress and also served as defense minister under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. His reappointment comes at a time of increasing tensions in the South China Sea.
Teodoro replaces Carlito Galvez, a former military chief who has held the defense portfolio in an acting capacity since January.
Marcos also appointed Teodoro Herbosa, a medical advisor to the government’s COVID-19 task force, as his first health minister.
—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales;Editing by Gareth Jones and Emelia Sithole-Matarise