Diokno 'reputable' but 'not the best choice' for BSP chief - Lacson

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2019 07:44 PM

MANILA - Outgoing Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno has a "reputable" record in government but is "not the best choice" for Central Bank governor, a senator said Tuesday. 

"Secretary Diokno may not be the best choice since he is not well known to have much banking experience and has yet to introduce himself to the international banking community," Sen. Panfilo Lacson said in a statement.

"Nevertheless, knowing his long, reputable public service, both in the budget department and in the academe where he served with competence and integrity, he is still a welcome appointment as BSP Governor," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Diokno as the agency's new chief after former governor Nestor Espenilla succumbed to tongue cancer on Feb. 23. 

His replacement at the budget department has yet to be named. 

Diokno's new appointment should be considered as a "promotion" as he would get an opportunity to serve beyond President Rodrigo Duterte's term, Sen. Francis Escudero said.

"I consider his appointment to the position of BSP Governor as a 'promotion' given that instead of handling merely the finances of the government, he will now be responsible for the "monetary policy and financial system" of the country," Escudero said.

"The Secretary of Finance only sits as a member, while the BSP governor sits as chair of the Monetary Board," he said.

Diokno's new role in government came amid allegations that he used his Cabinet position to favor his in-laws' contracting business in the Bicol region.

Diokno had belied the allegations, but snubbed several hearings in the House of Representatives that tackled his supposed budget insertions.