Ex-envoy to Brazil who maltreated house helper dismissed from service

(Philstar.com) - March 1, 2021 - 10:01pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated March 3, 2021, 8:48 a.m.) — The country's former ambassador to Brazil, who was caught on video maltreating her Filipino house helper, has been dismissed from service, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.

Marichu Mauro was recalled in late October of last year in the wake of the incident that had gone viral on social media. 

She was charged on November 9, but no news of whether she was out or staying in her post came until Duterte confirmed this in his weekly public address tonight.

The dismissal order, the president said, comes with penalties such as the cancellation of her retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from ever holding public office.

Mauro will also no longer be allowed to take civil service examinations.

Duterte did not give out further details, mentioning the dismissal towards the end of a televised address that stretched to nearly an hour.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the decision to dismiss the envoy was "harsh."

"While her temper got the better of her in that case, she treated a self-important young diplomat the same way and his lousy character completely changed for the better," Locsin said in a tweet Tuesday morning.

Before charges were pressed against the ex-envoy to Brazil, the foreign affairs department formed an investigating panel to recommend penalties for Mauro.

Her dismissal was something that workers' groups had called for. They also scored the labor department for seemingly being mum on the issue. 

"Secretary Bello, and by extension the entire Duterte administration, must demonstrate that they do not tolerate this kind of behavior towards workers, especially from public servants," Leody de Guzman of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino said last year.

Brazil's GloboNews, which reported the incident of maltreatment, said the victim is a 51-year-old Filipino who worked in the ambassador's official residence.

The CCTV footage recorded from the diplomatic residence was also used as evidence in a complaint against Mauro there in late August.

Mauro presented her credentials to Brazilian President Michel Temer on April 2018. Aside from Brazil, the embassy there also has jurisdiction over Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela. — Christian Deiparine with reports from Patricia Lourdes Viray

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