PH envoy to Brazil recalled after caught on video maltreating Filipino helper

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2020 03:25 PM | Updated as of Oct 26 2020 09:59 PM

Courtesy of Philippine Embassy in Brazil website

MANILA (UPDATED) - The Philippines recalled its ambassador to Brazil who was caught on video maltreating her household service staff, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Monday.

"The Philippine ambassador to Brazil has been recalled effective immediately to explain the maltreatment of her service staff," Locsin wrote on Twitter.

Brazilian news channel GloboNews on Sunday released a report showing Philippine ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro berating and mistreating her helper multiple times inside the diplomatic residence.

The report said the victim is a 51-year-old Filipina. The incidents were captured by a security camera and documented by employees who declined to be identified. The report said the victim “was physically assaulted many times, many days.”

In one of the videos, Mauro was seen slapping the victim, but stopped when another employee entered the house. 

The ambassador was also seen pulling the helper’s ear in another video, and hitting the helper with an umbrella in a separate incident.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in a statement, said Mauro was ordered to return home immediately following the release of video footage.

Meanwhile, the household service staff left Brasilia, the federal capital of the South American nation, on Oct. 21 and had returned to the Philippines, it added. 

“The DFA is reaching out to her to ensure her well-being and cooperation in the investigation,” the agency said. “The DFA assures the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted.”

Mauro began her tour of duty in Brazil in 2018, and has concurrent jurisdiction in Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

According to the Philippine Embassy in Brazil’s website, Mauro joined the DFA in 1995, serving in the economic diplomacy until 1996 when she was appointed acting director at the Office of Middle East and African Affairs. 

In 2006, Mauro was assigned as first secretary and consul at the Embassy of the Philippines to Belgium and Luxembourg, and Philippine Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, and later on as career minister and consul general.

While in Brussels for 6 years, Mauro was in charge of Philippine relations with the European Union before becoming executive director of the Office of European Affairs upon her return to the home office in 2012.

In 2014, Mauro was assigned as consul general to the Philippine Consulate General in Milan, Italy, the first time she was given a head of post position.