MANILA (UPDATE) — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) remains committed to investigating former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro, who was seen in now-viral CCTV videos laying her hands on her Filipina house help.
This, after two groups claiming to be ex-diplomats threw their support behind the controversial envoy.
"The DFA is not aware of the existence of the so-called 'Department of Foreign Affairs Career Officers Corps' and the 'Retired Ambassadors Association.' The reported statement of such organizations on the case of the former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil does not, in any way, reflect the position of the Department nor the sentiment of its career corps," the department said in a statement.
"The Department stands by its resolve to respond to the matter in accordance with, and to the fullest extent of the law," it added.
The DFA issued the clarification after a news report came out with the 2 groups' statement of support for Mauro, saying "that single incident should not define the character of Ambassador Mauro."
Migrant-worker rights advocate Susan Ople, meanwhile, said the alleged statement of support for Mauro did not do anything to help.
“Kung ang layunin ay makatulong 'yung gumawa ng press release kay Amba Mauro, kabaligtaran ang resulta. Let's just all wait for the results of the DFA probe,” Ople said in a tweet.
(If someone intended to help out through a press release for Amb. Mauro, it did the opposite.)
Mauro made headlines recently after Brazil's Globo News exposed the ambassador's repeated assault of her 51-year old Filipina helper inside the diplomatic residence in the Latin American country.
In one of the CCTV 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.
The helper is back in the Philippines while the Brazil public defender has opened an investigation. Mauro, who was immediately recalled after the abuse came to light, has also returned to the Philippines, Sen. Bong Go said on Tuesday.
The DFA is currently conducting an investigation on Mauro.
— With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News