Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday said they needed approval from President Rodrigo Duterte before they could investigate the country’s ambassador to Brazil, Marichu Mauro who was caught on video abusing her Filipina helper.
Locsin vowed that the DFA’s response to the issue “will be severe to the fullest extent of the law.”
“The recall of Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro will enable the DFA to 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,” Locsin said on Twitter.
“But first, the DFA will get authority from the Office of the President to proceed as a young lawyer reminded us all, or it will be an exercise in futility.”
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 or separated from the service unless there is an express written directive from the President.”
DFA “will be firm in meting out the appropriate sanctions and administrative or criminal charges on Ambassador Mauro if the results of the DFA’s investigation will demand as such,” Locsin said.
Pending the President’s approval, the DFA announced a team had been created to probe Mauro.
Duterte’s approval needed to probe Mauro – Locsin
“Under my leadership, the DFA will not tolerate in any way whatsoever actions by any of its ranking officers or staff that go against our primary mandate, which is the promotion and protection of the welfare of all overseas Filipinos,” Locsin said.
Locsin said DFA would “ensure that matters like these will never be tolerated.”
“President Duterte has been clear from the beginning of his term that his administration will do everything to protect the rights of every single Filipino worker abroad. Rest assured,” Locsin said.
The DFA is also reviewing the policy of allowing Filipino ambassadors to hire Filipino domestic helpers from the Philippines.
“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,” Locsin said.