Envoy in maltreatment case going to court
Mauro yesterday said she completely regretted the incidents captured on video, where the clips showed maltreatment of her household help, which brought shame to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Philippine Embassy in Brazil

Envoy in maltreatment case going to court

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro will turn to the courts to obtain an “unbiased judgment” after her dismissal from service, saying her case was “railroaded.”

Mauro yesterday said she completely regretted the incidents captured on video, where the clips showed maltreatment of her household help, which brought shame to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“I have relayed this several times to DFA authorities, including the Secretary (Teodoro Locsin Jr.) himself. I want to reassure the public that I have made amends and have deeply regretted my behavior. I have asked my kasambahay (househelp)’s forgiveness, which she has given,” she said in a statement.

Her case, she added, was railroaded to the point that important pieces of evidence were deliberately not given due attention.

Despite her househelp’s refusal to lodge formal charges against her, the DFA still actively pursued Mauro and recommended her dismissal.

The former ambassador expressed belief that she was publicly judged while “the organization that should have at least protected me and shielded me from trial by publicity even largely contributed to it.”

The case was mishandled, according to Mauro, noting that there were heavy deficiencies committed by the DFA Hearing Panel.

“I fully understand why Secretary Locsin wants to appear to be standing up for the rights of my kasambahay, but should it be at the expense of my own human right to be given due process?” she said.

“Had my case been handled fairly, I would have wholeheartedly accepted the result. My lawyers and I are constrained to resort to our courts to obtain an unbiased judgment,” she added.

President Duterte himself announced his decision to uphold Locsin’s recommendation to dismiss Mauro, a career officer, from service.

The DFA chief on Monday described as “harsh” the decision of Duterte to dismiss Mauro from service.

Mauro emphasized that the video depicted to the public that she was cruel to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the DFA did not correct this negative public impression.

“I felt that right from the very start when public outcry became evident, the DFA stepped back and watched how the event unfolded on its own while the public, including some politicians, continued to berate and judge my character,” she said.

“The issue was used over and over to make me an example of an abusive official. But I am not the cruel and heartless person that certain government officials portrayed me to be,” she added.

The selected footage, she said, were illegally and stealthily obtained, patched together and eventually released to the Brazilian media to shame and embarrass her.

Personnel of the Philippine embassy in Brazil attested in their sworn affidavits that this serious breach of security through illegal wiretapping was committed by the Brazilian local hires, one of whom was fired with the DFA’s authority.

“From the first instance, there was always a sense that the DFA had an urgent need to process my case with great expediency and only expediency,” Mauro said.

“There was absolutely no interest in giving me the benefit of the doubt and considering possible mitigating and even aggravating circumstances that have contributed to my behavior,” she said.

In November last year, the DFA vowed to impose a “severe” penalty on Mauro.

The former envoy’s househelp, a certain ‘Amy’, went on record to say on TV that maltreating subordinates was generally not in Mauro’s character, and surmised that it must have been due to the pandemic lockdown which confined everyone at home.

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