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CA panel defers confirmation hearing for Tejano as ambassador to PNG

The Commission on Appointments (CA) committee on foreign affairs has suspended the hearing for the confirmation of Bienvenido Tejano as ambassador to Papua New Guinea on Wednesday.

Before the suspension, the CA panel proceeded to an executive session with Tejano due to the confidentiality and sensitivity of their discussion.

Senator Cynthia Villar asked if an executive session would be necessary in Tejano’s case, in the event his answer would have to be "confidential."

Senator Risa Hontiveros joined Villar considering the sensitivity of the questions. She also manifested to allow “another person” to speak to the committee during the executive session.

“Also, Mr. Chair [Senator Jinggoy Estrada] if another person here today who may yet be recognized by the committee will also be allowed by the Chair to speak to the committee then it that case isasama ko na rin po sa manifestation ko, pati sila, ang isang taong yun, ay makapagsalita sa atin but in executive session,” Hontiveros said.

On February 22, the panel also tackled Tejano’s nomination as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Papua New Guinea, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Kiribati and Solomon Islands.

It was deferred over allegations of sexual assault against Tejano.

At the earlier hearing, Hontiveros asked Tejano to explain local and international news articles about allegations of sexual assault, including an incident involving a Filipino former member of his household staff.

Tejano said the allegations were untrue. “These are all fabricated. At ito po ay nag-ugat sa isang Pilipina na hindi ko natulungan sa Papua New Guinea, na nakakalungkot dahil gumawa sila ng ganito para lang siraan ako para maalis ako doon,” Tejano said.

(These are all fabricated. The allegations were made by a Filipina whom I failed to assist in Papua New Guinea. It's unfortunate that they did this to malign me and have me removed from my position.)

“I was in shock when I saw this allegation. And I don't have a media to cover my reason because I was not included in the media issues,” he added. — BM, GMA Integrated News