MANILA - The country's former ambassador to Brazil caught maltreating her helper said Thursday she would ask the Court of Appeals to review the administrative proceeding conducted by the foreign ministry that led to her dismissal.
Interviewed on Teleradyo, former Ambassador Marichu Mauro claimed there were "deficiencies" committed by the hearing panel at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
"I was hoping that it was only suspension. Because for me, dismissal is not proportionate to the extent of the case, of the offense," she said.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the envoy's dismissal from service after Mauro was caught on camera assaulting her helper inside the diplomatic residence.
She will lose retirement benefits, perpetually disqualified of holding public office and barred from taking civil service examination.
During the interview, Mauro alleged the DFA hearing panel "totally disregarded" the documentary evidence she submitted and was "maybe under pressure" to arrive such a recommendation.
While she's seeking a review of the case, Mauro maintained there was "no justification" to what she had done.
"I am deeply remorseful of my behavior. I deeply regret it. Naging biktima rin ako ng (I was also a victim of the) COVID lockdown. I was under tremendous mental and emotional stress," she said.
She said she was then dealing with the worsening COVID-19 situation in Brazil, which now is among countries with the highest coronavirus cases and deaths.
Mauro said she partly blamed her helper who sometimes was "stubborn" and "deliberately making her lose patience." The helper has been in her family's employ for 34 years.
She also lamented that the DFA, which she served for 26 years, didn't defend her. The agency only watched from the sidelines as the events unfolded, she added.
Despite her dismissal, Mauro is grateful to the President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.
"I would like to thank them for giving me an opportunity to serve my country and my fellow Filipino and to serve the national interest of the Philippines abroad," she said.