Press Release
February 12, 2017


Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has endorsed banker Antonio Moncupa to be the next governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Pimentel, who is also president of the ruling PDP Laban party, said Moncupa is the most qualified among several candidates to head the monetary authority.

"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," Pimentel said in a statement.

"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 said.

Moncupa, who is currently president of East West Bank, also heads the PDP Laban policy think-tank. He is a former activist and political detainee.

The Senate president said the party is set to formally endorse him to President 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 explained.

The December 2016 Nationwide Survey on National Administration Performance Ratings of Pulse Asia showed overwhelming support -- 84 percent of 1,200 respondents around the country -- for the government's campaign against criminality despite criticisms of human rights abuses.

At the same time, the Senate president said Moncupa, as a veteran banker, is highly capable and knowledgeable about financial and monetary policies, which would allow him to manage inflation and keep the foreign exchange market stable.

"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," Pimentel said.

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