PH envoy to UN faces probe of domestic worker’s abuse claim | Global News

PH envoy to UN faces probe of domestic worker’s abuse claim

/ 06:24 PM September 16, 2016

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is conducting an investigation into the alleged abusive behavior of Philippine permanent representative to United Nations Lourdes Yparraguirre toward her 59-year-old domestic helper.

Foreign affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said the personnel department would look into accusations Yparraguirre made Milagros Braza work for her relatives without pay and kicked the helper out of the house during winter last year, adding it would also get the side of the envoy.

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The ambassador was accused by Braza of abusive behavior for making her work for her relatives without pay, cussing at her and kicking her out of the residence on Christmas Eve of 2015.

Braza sought the assistance of former Labor Undersecretary Susan Ople, who heads the migrant workers’ assistance group Blas F. Ople Policy Center, saying the DFA had been ignoring her complaint since April.

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“We take this matter very seriously,” said Jose at the press briefing on Friday. “We will refer this matter to our appropriate department to look into this. But at the same time, it is important that we get the side of our own people on this issue. So it’s important to get the side of Ambassador Yparraguirre.”

Jose said that since Yparraguirre was assigned in New York, she would be facing sanctions based on the laws of her host country, in this case the US, if she would be found guilty of abusing her maid.

According to Braza, she told Ople that she had requested Yparraguirre to find her a cheap hotel to stay for the night because she was tired and had to be ready for work as seven new visitors would be arriving the next day.

Yparraguirre allegedly got mad at her and asked her to leave the house, threatening to call the police. Braza said she then called a friend who picked her up and provided her with a temporary shelter.

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Braza’s submitted affidavit to the Philippine mission to the UN also said she was asked to work for Yparraguirre’s relatives in the US without pay.

Among the envoy’s relatives who Braza said availed of her services include Yparraguirre’s niece, Mariel Flores of New Jersey City, who gave birth at the time and needed assistance.

She said Flores made her work for five days without pay.

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Braza also claimed that Yparraguirre made her work for another niece, Janelle Flores Pike, without pay.

According to Ople, Braza is still in the US but is seeking help from the DFA for her safe return./rga

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TAGS: abuse, Charles Jose, Department of Foreign Affairs, domestic helper, Lourdes Yparraguirre, migrant workers, Milagros Braza, Philippine permanent representative to United Nations, Susan Ople
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