Duterte's PDP-Laban backs EastWest Bank head for BSP governor

PARTY BACKING. Antonio Moncupa Jr gets the endorsement of the ruling PDP-Laban party for the top post at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Photo from EastWest Bank

PARTY BACKING. Antonio Moncupa Jr gets the endorsement of the ruling PDP-Laban party for the top post at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Photo from EastWest Bank

MANILA, Philippines – The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) wants EastWest Bank president Antonio Moncupa Jr to become the next governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

"It is time for bold and innovative leadership at the BSP. It can no longer be 'business as usual' in government, particularly at the central bank which is the overseer of the country's financial system," said Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, also the PDP-Laban president, in a statement on Sunday, February 12.

"I believe Mr Moncupa has all the qualities required to lead the central bank in this period of challenge and change. He is an experienced banker whose knowledge of the financial markets is matched only by his unquestionable integrity and character and passionate nationalism," Pimentel added.

Besides heading EastWest Bank since 1997, Moncupa also heads the PDP-Laban policy think tank.

Prior to EastWest Bank, Moncupa was executive vice president and chief financial officer of the International Exchange Bank. He was also a former activist and political detainee, according to Pimentel.

The Senate President said PDP-Laban will formally endorse Moncupa to President Rodrigo Duterte, who is PDP-Laban chairman.

"President Duterte has been unrelenting in his fight against criminality. We believe that the BSP will play a critical role in this fight. We need to crack down on the finances of criminal syndicates and drug cartels, and the best way to do this is to foster a more responsive and vigilant banking industry through a reinvigorated BSP," Pimentel said.

"In this period of change, it is important to have someone at the helm of the BSP who can push the economy forward, maintain stability and continuity in terms of monetary policies, and allow business to grow."

Malacañang had previously explored amending the BSP charter to allow multi-awarded BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr to stay on for a 3rd term. Tetangco is currently serving his 2nd term, which ends this July.

But Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told media earlier this month that Tetangco has declined the offer due to health reasons. – Rappler.com