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Teehankee appointment as WTO representative deferred

The Commission on Appointments deferred on Wednesday the confirmation of Ambassador Manuel Teehankee as the permanent representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The decision came after Sen. Risa Hontiveros moved to delay Teehankee’s appointment, citing a letter against the ambassador from the Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns.

Pay case settled

The nongovernment organization for migrants reported that Teehankee had been convicted of usury by the Geneva police court because he paid his Filipino maid only 12 percent of the minimum wage in Geneva.

Teehankee said he had settled this matter with his former employee in October 2015. He said that “diplomatic immunity should not be used as a shield” on issues like this.

Hontiveros said it took the ambassador 10 years to settle the issue and that Teehankee refused to compensate his former employee with overtime pay and for her unjust dismissal.

Hontiveros said Teehankee did not appeal the decision of the Geneva police court and was sentenced to 60 days in probation and fined 400 Swiss francs in 2014. —Christine O. Avendaño

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