BSP lawyer: Documents on alleged shipment of gold to Thailand are “spurious”

By on January 7, 2017


Photo: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas/Facebook
Photo: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas/Facebook

MANILA—The chief legal officer of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday clarified issues linking the central bank governor, among others, to alleged illegal shipment of gold reserves to Thailand using an alleged circular for the production of US dollars.

The plunder complaint, filed by lawyer Fernando Perito and one Rogelio Cantoria before the Office of the Ombudsman Friday, alleged that President Benigno Aquino III and six others including BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., were involved in the alleged illegal shipment of 3,500 metric tons of gold reserves to Thailand.

Part of the documents submitted to the Ombudsman is an alleged certification attached to an alleged BSP Circular 0049 Series of 2014.

In a statement issued by the BSP Friday night, BSP Assistant Governor and General Counsel Elmore Capule said they had checked the said document “purportedly emanating from the Office of the Governor on a Personal and Confidential Certification of Circular No. 49 Series of 2014 on the subject of Consolidated Rules and Regulations on the Production of the United States of America Currency Notes. “

He said “a cursory examination of the said document readily shows that it is spurious for the following basic reasons:”

  1. The subject matter is outside of BSP’s authority (Production of the United States of America Currency Notes);
  2. Circular No. 49 is a circular issued way back in September 20, 1994, and not 2014, on a totally different subject matter;
  3. Republic Act No. 7655 cited in item 1 supposedly as basis of the authority to produce the US dollars pertains to an Act increasing the minimum wage of househelpers;

RA NO. 7655, otherwise known as “An Act Increasing the Minimum Wage of Househelpers”, was approved on Aug. 19, 1992.

Capule also noted that “Republic Act No. 7735 cited in item 2 supposedly as basis for the production of the funds pertains to an act establishing a national high school in Davao (Lorenzo S. Sarmiento, Sr. National High School).”

”While purporting to be a BSP issued circular, issued by the Office of the Governor, it is signed by three cabinet secretaries, the Senate President and the Governor. Fyi, BSP circulars are signed only by BSP officials,” he added.

Other personalities who were included in the complaint, are former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila De Lima, former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and former Senate President Franklin Drilon.

The complained named De Lima as Finance Secretary and Roxas as Secretary of the Department of Nutrition and Local Government.