The maltreatment of her household help by Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro is now being investigated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on orders of President Duterte.
The investigation should stay at the DFA and Congress should desist from conducting its own inquiry otherwise there would be another media circus. Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is from Mindanao, has already expressed his sympathy to the victim’s family, but he has not called for a Senate inquiry. But there is no assurance that some of his more publicity-hungry colleagues would not ask for a Senate probe of the matter “in aid of legislation.”
The DFA would conduct its hearing of the case closed-door until its findings are submitted to the Board of Foreign Service Administration. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. would then forward its final recommendation to the President.
It was Brazil’s GloboNews that first aired videos showing Mauro’s maltreatment of her Filipina maid identified by the DFA as Leonila de Ocampo. In the videos, Mauro can be seen appearing to physically abuse De Ocampo in different instances.
One nagging question that comes up to our mind is why was the ambassador, a career diplomat, not aware that there was CCTV in the area. Or has she been doing this in the past when the latest incident was made as a matter of habit? Another question is who among her staff forwarded the videos to GloboNews.
The incident is a simple case of maltreatment and does not involve our national security or our relations with Brazil and we are sure that there are provisions under the Foreign Service Act to deal with this matter.
Ambassador Mauro, a career envoy who started as consul in l995, rose from the ranks before she became chief of mission of our embassy in Brazil. She has been assigned to the Middle East, Belgium and Luxembourg and the Philippine Mission to the European Union, among other postings.
We reiterate our appeal to the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to refrain from conducting their own investigation so as not to muddle the issues. If there is going to be any punishment meted out to Ambassador Mauro, then it is the DFA’s call and not of Congress.