Teehankee back as PH ambassador to World Trade Organization
MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Undersecretary Manuel Antonio "Dondi" Teehankee is back to his old post as Philippine ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
His appointment paper was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on November 27.
Teehankee had served as Permanent Representative to the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland from 2004 to 2011, after being appointed by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
A bar top-notcher and Ateneo Law School valedictorian, Teehankee had also been justice undersecretary during Arroyo's time.
Teehankee was appointed Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Relations back in July.
Migrant rights group Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines and the Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns had called on Duterte to retract Teehankee's appointment accusing him of exploiting his former house help in Geneva.
The Filipina domestic worker pressed charges against him in March 2005. She had claimed that she worked from 6 am until midnight daily, was not granted days-off, and received less than the Swiss minimum wage. The former ambassador did not appeal the conviction.
Teehankee was found guilty of usury, and sentenced to 60 days on probation and fined 400 Swiss Francs by the Geneva Police Court in Switzerland on December 17, 2014.
In July, after the demand for his appointment's retraction, Teehankee acknowledged his mistake and gave assurances that he complied with the the Swiss requirements on wages.
"No harm was intended, and all wages as sanctioned by Philippine and Swiss regulations have been long paid and settled," Teehankee had said. The issue has been resolved and parties had reached a "court-approved final and binding amicable settlement."
Duterte filled in other ambassadorial posts.
He has appointed Demetrio Tuason as ambassador to the United Mexican States with jurisdiction over Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus Santos Domingo was given jurisdiction over Cook Islands, aside from having jurisdiction over Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa. – Rappler.com