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Metro Opinion

Reunion of Sort

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

This side of the web was alpha – in shooting parlance it’s right on target – with the piece several weeks back on Princess Lea, National Treasurer otherwise known as the Treasurer of the Philippines (TOP) joining the elite policy-making body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

While everyone was enjoying the forced three-day weekend, some of us were jolted when after nearly two months of silence the Palace suddenly released its appointees to the Monetary Board, TOP and former Finance Undersecretary Romeo Bernardo.

It’s a reunion of sort for the Bernardo and Princess Lea, who was one of the gutsy staff of Bernardo when he was the head of the International Finance Group, a sector in the finance department that secures foreign grants and loans as well as initiates and negotiates foreign borrowings and debt restructuring.


From my view deck, luck is on the side of Bernardo as he has been very connected. Intertwined, in fact! From the Aboitiz clan, where he sits as an independent director of Aboitiz Power Corp. to the Ayalas as non-executive director of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Now, I cannot comprehend the longevity in the appointment of MB members as well as announcing the appointees in tranches. One more seat is needed to be filled-up to complete the seven-man MB board.

Palace insiders say the choices “limitless,” as the list is long and winding. But based on what I hear on the Palace grounds, it’s a toss-up between former deputy TOP Roberto Juanchito “Jojo” Dispo and former Socio-economic Planning Secretary Dante Canlas.

Some believed that Jojo’s experience both in government service and the private sector was more “valuable,” especially at the moment when market movement could be likened to a pendulum – swing high, swing low.


Jojo is a seasoned investment banker. He shepherded First Metro Investment Corp., the investment-arm of MetroBank. He brings with him extensive experience in capital raising – both from being the deputy TOP and FMIC president.  

Others, though, are saying that should it be base on association, the pick will be Dante. Sounds like the 1997 film set in the fictional town of Dante’s Peak with residents fighting to survive an eruption from a long dormant volcano. 

Simply because Dante was the batchmate of Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, BSP Gov. Eli Remolona and former BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla at the UP School of Economics.

It will be another reunion of sorts if it’s Dante.

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