The Philippines' new central bank governor was sworn in Wednesday. But the appointment of Benjamin Diokno, a former member of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's administration, has some people worried.
Political and financial watchers, both within the country and outside, were surprised when Duterte appointed his former budget secretary as head of the Philippine central bank — or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Some analysts saw the decision as politically motivated and fear it may threaten the independence of yet another public institution in the country. The Philippine peso fell after his appointment.
When the top job at the central bank became vacant, analysts and the financial industry widely expected Duterte to pick one of the three deputy governors — or at least someone within the institution — to fill the position. The previous governor, Nestor Espenilla, died in February after a battle with cancer.
It caught the public by surprise too. Diokno was not among the front-runners when Filipinos were discussing potential candidates who did not work in the central bank.