Department of Foreign Affairs

Probe on PH envoy finds evidence of maltreatment of staff

Sofia Tomacruz
Probe on PH envoy finds evidence of maltreatment of staff

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(UPDATED) Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr adds a memo on the issue concerning former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro has been sent to President Rodrigo Duterte' office

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said on Monday, November 9, that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has issued a formal charge against former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro over her maltreatment of household staff.

Locsin had tweeted that Mauro was served a charge at 8:25 am on Monday, and that a memo on the matter had been sent to President Rodrigo Duterte. He did not elaborate on what charge was issued while the DFA has yet to respond to questions on details of Mauro’s charge.  

Based on civil service rules on administrative cases, a formal charge is given by the disciplining authority – in this case the agency’s hearing panel – if sufficient evidence is established during the preliminary investigation to warrant a formal investigation. 

Following this, Locsin said the Board of Foreign Service Administration is expected to decide on the DFA hearing panel’s report and charge on Mauro, after which it will be finally decided on by his office. 

“It shouldn’t take too long,” Locsin said. 

Why is Mauro being investigated?

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

The closed-circuit television videos showed Mauro striking her staff or grabbing her by the hair and ear on at least 4 separate occasions this year.

Locsin had recalled Mauro to the Philippines to facilitate a probe on the matter.

Her household staff, meanwhile, has also returned to the Philippines. Locsin previously said he provided the staff P200,000 to assist her while she was out of work. 

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What happens next?

Based on civil service rules, Mauro will have up to 10 days to respond and file a written answer under oath. The hearing panel will then hear her case and make further recommendations if a formal investigation is demanded. 

Locsin earlier vowed the department’s response to Mauro’s actions would be “severe to the fullest extent of the law” to set an example and ensure such behavior and matters would not be tolerated. 

“All our diplomats are held to an even higher standard by virtue of their profession’s mandate, not least to be the face of our compassionate country, and sworn commitment to public service,”  he earlier said. – 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.