President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the conduct of an investigation into allegations that former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro physically abused her Filipina household staff, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this confirmation after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the agency would need to get approval from the President before it can initiate an investigation against the envoy.
“Pinayagan na po ng Presidente ang Department of Foreign Affairs na imbestigahan ang dating Philippine Ambassador to Brazil na si Marichu Mauro (The President has allowed the Department of Foreign Affairs to investigate former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro),” he said in a press briefing from Bohol.
Roque said the President has to give the go-signal to investigate because envoys are presidential appointees.
He said Duterte’s decision to give immediate approval to conduct an investigation means that he wants justice served to the Filipina household staff.
“Yung mabilisan pong pag-authorize sa DFA na imbestigahan si Ambassador Mauro ay indicative na kinakailangan bigyan ng katarungan yung naging biktima ng karahasan na kasambahay na kababayan natin (Giving immediate authority to DFA to investigate Ambassador Mauro is indicative that there is a need to give justice to the victim of abuse who is a Filipino helper),” he said.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, in a statement, also confirmed that Duterte has given his approval to proceed with the probe.
“The President has always been firm – the protection and promotion of the rights, welfare, and well-being of Filipinos overseas is a paramount responsibility of our government. Our Ambassadors are duty-bound to carry out this mandate, no questions asked,” Go said.
He said the investigation will be carried out, consistent with relevant provisions of the law, particularly the Foreign Service Act of 1991.
On Monday, Locsin said Mauro has been recalled effective immediately to explain the maltreatment of her service staff.
He said a “severe” response awaits the Philippine envoy over her aide’s abuse.
“The [agency’s] response on this matter will be severe to the fullest extent of the law especially when it involves a high-ranking DFA official setting an example to ensure that matters like these will never be tolerated,” Locsin said.
He said the DFA will never tolerate actions done by ranking officials or staff that go against the promotion and protection of the welfare of overseas Filipinos.
“Let me reiterate the DFA is giving this matter its utmost attention, true to its core mission of protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers,” he said.
Brazilian news outlet Globo News earlier released CCTV footage supposedly showing Mauro repeatedly “berating and mistreating” her Filipina household staff. PNA