Ex-PH ambassador to Brazil eyes taking case to court to get ‘unbiased judgment’
MANILA, Philippines — Dismissed Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro on Wednesday said she is considering taking her case to the court “to obtain an unbiased judgment” as she cited “heavy deficiencies” supposedly committed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) hearing panel that handled her case.
“Had my case been handled fairly, I would have wholeheartedly accepted the result,” she said in a statement. “My lawyers and I are constrained to resort to our courts to obtain an unbiased judgment.”
President Rodrigo Duterte announced Monday that he approved DFA’s recommendation to dismiss Mauro over alleged maltreatment of her Filipina house help.
Mauro disclosed that she had initially wanted to resign from her post after footage of her purportedly abusing a household staff went viral last year.
“I have repeatedly expressed my regret over this incident. The video that went viral had put me and my kasambahay in shame. In fact, I originally wanted to resign. That was how mortified I was,” she said.
“However, I was told that even if I were to resign, DFA will still pursue a case against me. Clearly, there was a deep desire to see me punished and to deny me my pension that I have worked so hard for many years,” she added.
Mauro’s dismissal comes with the cancellation of her eligibility, forfeiture of her retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office as she was also barred from taking civil service exams, according to Duterte.
“Now, I am left with very limited options especially since I was so publicly judged. The organization that should have at least protected me and shielded me from trial by publicity even largely contributed to it,” she said.
“This is why my sense of betrayal runs deep. My case was even mishandled. There were heavy deficiencies committed by the DFA Hearing Panel,” she added.
The former envoy believes her case was “railroaded.”
“From the first instance, there was always a sense that the DFA had an urgent need to process my case with great expediency and only expediency,” she said.
She lamented the DFA’s supposed lack of “interest in giving [her] the benefit of the doubt” and “considering possible mitigating and even aggravating circumstances that have contributed to my behavior.”
“It was as if the intention was to make an example of me. Absent was the support and solidarity that I at least expected from the DFA that I have passionately and fervently worked for, for many years,” she said.
“With their final act, they have disregarded the rule of law, and made a victim of yet another woman who was simply a hardworking and dedicated civil servant and ‘a fine diplomat’,” she also said in reference to how DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has described her in an earlier tweet.
It was a harsh decision affirming DFA's decision and penalties TO THE LETTER against what was a fine diplomat. While her temper got the better of her in that case, she treated a self-important young diplomat the same way and his lousy character completely changed for the better. https://t.co/1aJMsTsRor
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) March 2, 2021
26 years of ‘looking after’ OFWs
Mauro, meanwhile, recalled her 26 years in the Philippine Foreign Service in which she said a good part of was spent “looking after” overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“It would be hard pressed to find any overseas Filipino to say that I mistreated him in any way; that I have acted or have been cruel towards anyone,” she said.
“In my 26 years with the DFA, the protection of rights and the promotion of welfare of overseas Filipinos was my utmost priority in my many foreign assignments. I have consistently pursued this mission with integrity, dedication, commitment, and sheer hard work,” she added.
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