Tetangco attacks a UCCP hatchet job!

In a full page advertisement in the Philippine Star signed by no less than former Senator Pimentel and other has beens, Armando Tetangco was blatantly attacked for his performance as BSP chair. The ad was meant to chide President Aquino and shame him on his recent decision to re-appointment Tetangco as Chair of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The re-appointment was welcomed by international and local banking and finance institutions. Why? Because Tetangco was doing the right thing!

Under Tetangco’s leadership, the Peso remained stable despite the huge upswings and downswings of the US dollar. This was good for our economy -principally for our OFW’s and exporters. Under his governorship of the BSP, the Philpass was also established as the lowest remittance platform that OFW’s can use. The Philippines was also included as one of the least affected by the Lehman debacle and financial crisis because of BSP’s prudent investment decisions.

During his term as BSP Chair, Tetangco was very supportive of the Rural Banks whom he identified as financial conduits of the under-banked and un-financed. Despite the Legacy Group fiasco, Tetangco together with his able deputy governor Espenilla, instituted policies that would strengthen the rural banking system in the Philippines. These included the establishment of the SPRB or the Strengthening Program for Rural Banks and the immediate loan extension assistance for Rural Banks at the aftermath of Pepeng and Ondoy which devastated farms and output all across Luzon. Tetangco also vigorously fought for the extension of the implementation of the BASEL regulations in the Philippines that had it been implemented immediately in its full form, would have seen the closure of most rural banks in the Philippines. Several products requested by rural banks were also approved during his tenure. These include Mobile Banking which has eased the banking woes of farmers and small businessmen across the country, approval of micro insurance for farmers and SME’s and Micro-Agra loan packages. The above accomplishments only goes to show that Tetangco is pro POOR with his support of rural financing institutions and concentration for micro finance initiatives.

Why a hatchet job? First and foremost, the accusers were themselves the ones who filed cases against Tetangco with the Ombudsman. These so called accusers are hiding behind a quasi-organization called the Advocates for Truth and Lending as controlled by Eduardo Olaguer. Who is Eduardo Olaguer? He is a member of the Light A Fire Movement – a terrorist cell operating during the Marcos dictatorship. He was a leftist and a former IBM scholar to Harvard. He is currently a realtor as he claims and makes a profession of writing against government personalities and policies. He is also a member of the UCCP or the United Church of Christ in the Philippines where Perfecto Yasay is also a member as well as Harry Roque. Of the 9 signatories in the derogatory print ad addressed to the President, 6 are members of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. The political signatories as former vice president Guingona and Senator Pimentel have had long ties with the UCCP as the church has a strong voting presence in Mindanao. Therefore, except for Ariel Querobin whose association with the UCCP cannot be established and whose only accomplishment is a medal of valor, 8 of the 9 signatories are either associated or are members of the UCCP.

It would seem that the United Church of Christ in the Philippines is lobbying for certain personalities to be appointed in government using quasi-organizations as fronts for making public appeals to the President and pressuring him. As to other motives, it can only be surmised that the more left leaning personalities within the Church or Corporation, as is the UCCP, are using it to promote their own agendas. But why hide behind a quasi-organization? Would not the interest of the UCCP be better served if they just placed the Church name on the print ad rather than hiding behind the former positions of their members. Or would this be considered a clear manifestation of a violation on the concept of separation between church and state. Also, did they use the money of the UCCP for the print ad without church members knowing? Has the UCCP been unwittingly used by some of their members for their own personal agenda? These are questions that will likely come up soon.

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