By Mario B Casayuran
The Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed Wednesday the appointments of eight ambassadors and 21 generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The confirmation was made during a plenary session presided by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, concurrent CA chairman, held at the Senate session hall.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the CA foreign affairs committee, however, deferred action on the appointment of Manuel Antonio Javier Teehankee as Philippine permanent representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The decision to defer was triggered by Teehankee’s statement in documents he submitted to the CA that he has no pending criminal case which was refuted the Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns, a non-governmental organization (NGO) on migrant affairs.
The group had written to Sen, Risa Hontiveros, a CA member, that Teehankee was found guilty of usury by the Geneva Police Court in Switzerland on December 17, 2014.
The Swiss court sentenced Teehankee to 60 days on probation and a fine of 600 Swiss francs for paying his Filipino household help only six percent of Geneva’s legislated minimum wage.
The domestic worker, whose name was withheld, claimed to have worked from 6 a.m. to midnight every single day and was not allowed to take at least one day per week “and Atty. Teehankee did not appeal this conviction,” the NGO wrote.
The letter also stated that the case dragged for 10 years because Teehankee invoked his diplomatic immunity when he was Philippine ambassador to the WTO in 1994.
Based on Lacson’s favorable endorsement, the CA confirmed the following ambassadors:
Grace Relucio Princesa, to the Holy See with concurrent jurisdiction over Malta; Frank Revil Cimafranca, to Greece and Cyprus; Marichu Barredo Mauro, to Brazil with concurrent jurisdiction over Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela; Hjayceelyn Mancenido Quintana, to the United Arab Emirates;
Linglingay Fonacier Lacanlale, to Argentina with concurrent jurisdiction over Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay; Cesar Lee Hiong Wee, to Indonesia; and Ombra T. Jainal, to the Czech Republic.
Confirmed as foreign service officer, class IV was Rowena F. Mutia.
A favorable endorsement from Rep. Roy M. Loyola, CA national defense committee chairman, led to the confirmation of Rozzano D. Briguez, Paul T. Atal and Danilo G. Pamonag as lieutenant generals.
It also confirmed as major generals Roseller G. Murillo, Jose Antonio Carlos B. Motril, Jesus A. Manangquil Jr., Fernando T. Trinidad and Gilbert I. Aglipay.
Erick A. Kagaoan was confirmed as rear admiral.
Confirmed as brigadier generals were Dionisio C. Baudin Jr., Juvymax R. Uy, Leopoldo A. Imbang Jr., Henry A. Robinson, Oliver R. Artuz, Byron H. Calimag, Eliezer L. Losanes , Filemon D. Mamaril Jr. and Agane C. Adriatico.
Nichols A. Driz and Dorvin Jose L. Legaspi were confirmed as commodores.
Tags: 21 generals get CA confirmation, 8 envoys, Foreign Affairs Committee, Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns, Manuel Antonio Javier Teehankee, Panfilo M. Lacson, Risa Hontiveros, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, the Senate