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Duterte approves probe on PH ambassador to Brazil over staff maltreatment

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the investigation on the controversial Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro for alleged maltreatment of her Filipina staff.

“The President has always been firm – the protection and promotion of the rights, welfare and well-being of Filipinos overseas. [It] is a paramount responsibility of our government,” Senator Bong Go said in a statement.

“Our Ambassadors are duty-bound to carry out this mandate, no questions asked,” he added.

Go added that Duterte approved the investigation on his appointee given the gravity of the allegations against Mauro.

“In light of the gravity of the allegations against the ambassador, the President has given the green light to proceed with the investigation of the official concerned, as recommended by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

The impartial investigation will be carried out consistent with relevant provisions of the law, particularly the Foreign Service Act of 1991.

The law states that the President must give his authority before investigating any of his appointees in foreign service posts.

“Provided, that the chiefs of mission who are commissioned by the President as ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary shall not be investigated by the Board or separated from the Service unless there is an express written directive from the President,” the Foreign Service Act states.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has recalled on Monday the ambassador “to explain the maltreatment of her service staff.”

A video released by Brazilian news channel GloboNews shows Mauro slapping her 51-year-old Filipina helper. In many occasions in the video, she was also seen pulling the helper’s ear. Mauro also hit the victim with an umbrella. All these happened inside the diplomatic residence.

According to the Brazilian news channel, some employees who wished not to be named gave the CCTV footage.

The huge remittances being sent by more than 10 million OFWs across the globe have kept the Philippine economy afloat for decades.

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