J.P. Morgan downgrade of PH 'taken out of context', says Marcos spox

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 12 2022 12:02 PM | Updated as of May 12 2022 04:59 PM

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MANILA - J.P. Morgan's downgrade of the Philippines was "taken out of context," the spokesperson of leading presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr said Thursday.

J.P. Morgan released the report a day after the Philippine national elections where the former senator, the namesake son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, received 31 million votes in the partial, unofficial count.

"They were not referring to president-elect or the ascendency of president-elect Bongbong Marcos. Other statements made by so-called economists, I think it should be taken in the context of it was made a political statement than from a standpoint of economic managers," lawyer Vic Rodriguez told ANC's Headstart.

"Hanggang dun lang ang aking sasagutin sapagkat that is all about the economy."

In a separate statement released on Thursday, J.P. Morgan said its report was "misquoted" by several news organizations mistakenly saying that the drop was due to the election results.

“Our views on the Philippines are driven by long term global and local macroeconomic fundamentals, and not by election results or outcomes in general,” J.P Morgan Philippines Head of Communications and Executive Director Patricia Anne Javier-Gutierrez said.

Meanwhile, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua on Thursday urged presidential frontrunner Marcos to bare its economic plans to allay investor concerns. 

When presented with the issues such as Marcos' absence of meaningful track record as a government official, as cited in another report, Rodriguez said: "The statement you have just read for me, it sounded more political than on the economy. It’s so political."

Marcos has begun to form his transition team, Rodriguez said, but added that he was not at liberty to name the appointees.

"For the economy, he really wants to have the best person out there available. The challenge is how will you convince them to leave their private life," he said.

J.P. Morgan earlier said its expectation that Philippine stocks would underperform compared to peers in the region, does not have anything to do with the poll results, but with the economy in general.

"We think the Philippines faces a challenging macroeconomic outlook post-2022 regardless of the outcome of the May 2022 presidential elections," it said.

In March, a Bloomberg poll of analysts and investors put Marcos near the bottom of a list ranking presidential aspirants who could lead the Philippines’ economic recovery. 

In response, Marcos Jr said he would "convince" these investors, but declined to give specifics.