Duterte approves probe vs. Marichu Mauro over abuse allegations

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) investigation against Marichu Mauro, the country’s ambassador to Brazil, who was caught on video maltreating her household service staff.

Palace spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed the decision at a news conference in Bohol on Thursday.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go Duterte gave his permission “in light of the gravity of allegations” against Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro following the DFA’s recommendation.

DFA chief Teodoro Locsin said that Mauro was recalled so the agency could “conduct an expedient and thorough investigation into the incidents of physical abuse perpetrated by her against her household staff as shown in the CCTV footage recently aired by a Brazilian news outfit.”

According to Section 51 of the Foreign Service Act, “Chiefs of Mission who are commissioned by the President as ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary shall not be investigated by the Board [of Foreign Service Administration] or separated from the service unless there is an express written directive from the President.”

“The President has always been firm — the protection and promotion of the rights, welfare, and -being of Filipinos overseas is a paramount responsibility of our government. Our ambassadors are duty-bound to carry out this mandate, no questions asked,” said Go, Duterte’s former special assistant.

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Duterte approves probe vs. Marichu Mauro over abuse allegations

“The impartial investigation will be carried out consistent with relevant provisions of the law, particularly the Foreign Service Act of 1991.”

On Sunday, Brazilian news channel GloboNews released a report showing Mauro mistreating and berating her helper inside the diplomatic residence.

The report said the helper was a 51-year-old Filipina who was “physically assaulted many times, many days.” The security camera caught the incidents on video. The employees who wished not to be identified documented the abuse.

One of the videos showed Marichu Mauro slapping the victim and pulling the helper’s ear in another video. She also hit the victim with an umbrella in a separate incident.

Meanwhile, the household service staff left Brasilia on October 21 and had returned to the Philippines, DFA added.