(Fixes spelling of Moncupa in second paragraph)
By Karen Lema
MANILA Feb 13 The political party of Philippine
leader Rodrigo Duterte has backed Antonio Moncupa, the president
of mid-sized lender East West Bank and head of the
party's policy think tank, to become the next governor of the
country's central bank.
Support for Moncupa was announced by Senator Aquilino
Pimentel, president of the ruling PDP-Laban party, in a
statement issued on the Senate website on Sunday.
The current governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP),
Amando is due to step down in July having completed a maximum
two terms. Tetangco is a career central banker widely praised
for his stewardship of one of the world's fastest growing
It was not immediately clear whether the PDP-Laban party's
choice of Moncupa also had the blessing of Duterte. Finance
Secretary Carlos Dominguez has said potential candidates for the
next central bank governor will undergo a selection process.
Moncupa, who holds a double degree in economics and
accounting from De La Salle University in Manila and a masters
in business administration from the University of Chicago, has
served as president of East West Bank since 2007.
"I am humbled and greatly honoured by the endorsement. I
believe he (Pimentel) sees a responsive and independent BSP as
consistent with PDP-Laban's advocacies towards inclusive growth
and the fight against criminality," Moncupa said in a text
message to Reuters.
The choice of central bank governor will be among the key
economic appointments Duterte will make during his six-year
The BSP has been one of the cornerstones of economic
stability in the country, helping to deliver strong growth while
keeping inflation in check.
Speculation has been rife on who will succeed Tetangco, with
several other names floating around, including BSP deputy
governors Diwa Guinigundo and Nestor Espenilla, former trade
secretary and monetary board member Peter Favila, and Foreign
Affairs Minister Perfecto Yasay.
Tetangco, in an interview with Reuters last month, said the
best candidate to succeed him should be someone with a central
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and