WITH his name being dragged by some politicians into the foray of an arms cache in the hands of the Ampatuan family, presidential aspirant Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro, Jr., challenged his detractors to file charges against him.

Teodoro was in the city Thursday to visit the University of the Immaculate Concepcion and the University of Mindanao in Davao City and the Cor Jesu College in Digos, Davao del Sur.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

"Kasuhan nila ako kung may katibayan sila na ako ang nagbigay (Let them file charges against me if they have the evidence against me)," Teodoro told reporters in a luncheon press conference at Nanay Bebeng restaurant.

The discovery of arms cache in the hands of the Ampatuan family showed several heavy firearms and ammunition that were properties of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Teodoro, who was then defense secretary, is now asking the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for an all out investigation on how the firearms have reached the hands of the Ampatuan clan.

"This should be investigated by the Scene of the Crime Operatives in their laboratory, as the serial number of the weapons, kahit ng isang bala, will show where it came from," Teodoro said.

The government continues to crackdown against the Ampatuan clan after the family was implicated by witnesses to be behind the gruesome murder of over 57 innocent civilians, journalists, and Muslim women last November 23, 2009.

The murder, which has been tagged as most atrocious, led to aggressive government action in dismantling private armies in Central Mindanao, a move strongly supported by Teodoro.


Meanwhile, Teodoro was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support by the students of the various universities that he visited Thursday.

"If you could have only seen the support of the students, it was overwhelming," Teodoro said.

"It has been long planned for me to visit Southern Mindanao but it got cancelled, it is only now that it finally pushed through," he added.

Also seen during the press conference was a top official of the Duterte administration.

Davao City Tourism Office chief Rizal Giovanni Aportadera, however said his presence at the function was in his personal capacity.

According to staff of Teodoro, several sorties will be made by the presidential aspirant in Davao City and the other provinces of Southern Mindanao.

Teodoro flew out of Davao City late Thursday to attend an event by People's Asia in Metro Manila. (Carlo P. Mallo)