Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin has vowed “severe” punishment for an ambassador for allegedly physically abusing her Filipina housemaid inside her residence.
The incident, which went viral on social media after being caught on CCTV, was widely featured on Brazilian television news outlet GloboNews.
The footage appeared to show the alleged maltreatment by Marichu Mauro, the current Philippine Ambassador to Brazil, of her 51-year old helper on several occasions.
In an official statement, the DFA said Mauro was ordered back to Manila to explain her alleged actions that had generated a ton of adverse publicity in Brazil.
“The DFA’s response on this matter will be severe to the fullest extent of the law,” Locsin was quoted as saying.
The Blas Ople Policy Center, an NGO which monitors the welfare of OFWs worldwide, said it would provide legal and financial support for the unidentified domestic worker, who has already returned to the country, as she pursues the case against Mauro, a veteran career diplomat who has served in various posts.
Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Joel Villanueva are reportedly scheduling a probe into the case due to the “black eye” it has caused to the country’s image abroad.
At the very least, Villanueva, who chairs the Senate labor committe, said Mauro should be charged for violating Republic Act 9262 or the the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
Locsin, according to reports, said Mauro – who was appointed to Brazil in 2018 and is concurrently ambassador to Venezuela and Columbia – could face administrative and criminal charges for her actions, if the evidence warrants.
(Malacanang announced President Duterte has given the go-signal for the DFA to investigate Ambassador Mauro in connection with the alleged maltreatment of her housemaid in Brazil, in violation of the goverment’s mandate to protect the rights and well-being of Filipinos living abroad. For the probe to proceed, Duterte’s approval is required as Mauro is a presidential appointee.