Monetary Board member resigns amid controversy surrounding ‘ghost’ scandal

A member of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has resigned amid the controversy over ghost employees involving officials of the MB, the BSP’s policy-making body.

V. Bruce Tolentino, a former deputy director-general of the International Rice Research Institute, submitted his resignation letter to President Marcos last week, sources shared. Tolentino, who was appointed MB member in June 2018 and reappointed in July 2020, was said to have requested that his resignation take effect on June 30. Tolentino’s term was supposed to expire in July 2026.

Another source mentioned that Tolentino’s staff had requested boxes from the Office of the Secretary, Monetary Board (OSMB) where he could put his belongings.

Malacañang has not yet made any announcement on the matter, and Tolentino has not responded to requests for comment.

Tolentino submitted his resignation letter amid rumors of his involvement in the BSP’s ghost employees scandal.

BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. said at a forum hosted by the Tuesday Club yesterday that the Office of the President has jurisdiction over MB members. He mentioned that there is a separate process being handled by the Office of the President and assured that action will be taken soon.

Remolona emphasized the importance of maintaining the central bank’s reputation and credibility to ensure the stability of the financial system. He also mentioned that measures are being put in place to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Tolentino first joined the Monetary Board in June 18, 2018, after serving the unexpired term of the late Valentin Araneta. Prior to his initial BSP appointment, Tolentino worked in various roles including chief economist and country representative at The Asia Foundation and senior technical adviser at the Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Catholic Relief Services.

This is not the first time a member of the MB has resigned during their term. In February 2014, former press secretary and presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye quit the Board due to his wife’s health condition.

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