Department of Foreign Affairs

DFA disowns diplomat group’s support for embattled PH envoy

Sofia Tomacruz
DFA disowns diplomat group’s support for embattled PH envoy
'The reported statement of such organizations in the case of the former Philippine ambassador to Brazil does not in anyway reflect the positions of the department nor the sentiment of its career corps,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr distanced the Department of Foreign Affairs from reported statements of support of DFA officials and retired diplomats for embattled former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro. 

Locsin said on Tuesday morning, November 3, that neither he, nor the DFA, was aware of the existence of the “DFA Career Officer Corps and the Retired Ambassadors Association,” which had vouched for Mauro and called for due process to be given to her “instead of being vilified in the media.” 

“The reported statement of such organizations in the case of the former Philippine ambassador to Brazil does not in anyway reflect the positions of the department nor the sentiment of its career corps,” Locsin said in an interview with CNN Philippines on Tuesday.

“The department stands by its resolve to respond to the matter in accordance with and to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.

Mauro, who returned to the Philippines on Monday night, November 2, has come under fire after footage released by Brazilian news outlet GloboNews showed her physically abusing her household staff in Brasilia. 

Mauro is the subject of a DFA probe. Locsin had earlier vowed that DFA action on Mauro would be “severe to the fullest extent of the law.” 

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What happened in Brazil?

On October 25, GloboNews released closed-circuit television videos showing Mauro  either striking household staff or grabbing the staff by the hair and ear.  Dates on the CCTV footage listed the incidents taking place in March, August, and twice in October this year.

On Tuesday, Locsin described the video as “incontestable.” 

“It is what it is. It shows her maltreating the maid,” he said. 

Mauro was since ordered to return to the Philippines to be investigated.

Her household staff has also returned to the country and is currently in quarantine, according to Locsin. The DFA chief earlier provided the household staff P200,000 to help tide her over as she remained out of work. 

What happens next?

Locsin said the task force investigating the incident is expected to report its findings in 15 days. The task force’s recommendations will first be given to his office for review before being forwarded to Malacañang. 

Locsin vowed that both Mauro and the household staff affected would be afforded due process. 

“I’m not a summary executioner guy. I’m a lawyer…. I’ll give her all the due process and the maid as well,” he said. 

Mauro, a career diplomat, joined the DFA in 1995 and served as consul general in Milan, Italy. She was also previously assigned to Manama, Bahrain; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Brussels, Belgium.

Mauro was appointed as envoy to Brazil in February 2018. – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.