A central bank deputy governor has stressed that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) does not politics and is an independent agency, after President Rodrigo Duterte called for the resignation of top BSP and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) officials.
“One thing we know, we are not serving politics. The BSP remains an independent agency,” BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo told reporters late Thursday.
Guinigundo clarified that his statement should not be taken as a direct contradiction of President Rodrigo
Duterte’s claim on Thursday that the BSP and AMLC were playing politics and hampering the government’s anti-corruption efforts.
“We are not the AMLC…Maybe the President connects BSP with AMLC, because it is based at BSP Complex, then the chairman is the BSP governor. Its an independent body,” Guinigundo added.
On Thursday, Duterte described the BSP and AMLC officials as a bunch of crooks who were still “hungry” for money despite their fat salaries.
“I’m going to charge all of you there, criminally. I’ll count one to three, and if you don’t resign, I will treat you as a drug addicts,” he said.
“You guys there are all corrupt, bantay kayo sa akin [I’ll keep an eye on you]. I will bring you down. [BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.] is about to retire. Better prepare there because I’ll give you a whack. You are all, you are all corrupt and serving [a]master. You are not supposed to engage in politics, God damn it,” the President said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been requesting from the AMLC documents for its investigation into drug-related transactions involving Sen. Leila de Lima, who is accused of getting protection money from drug syndicates in the New Bilibid Prison.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd has complained that while the DOJ had received documents from AMLC, these were incomplete.
In contrast, bank records of personalities targeted by the previous Aquino administration—the late chief justice Renato Corona and former vice president Jejomar Binay—had been leaked to the media.