Embattled Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro, who is set to face an investigation for maltreating her Filipino household help in Brazil, was known for being “soft-spoken” and “slow to anger,” a retired high-ranking Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said on Thursday.
Former DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis expressed surprise when he learned of the news that Mauro was seen on CCTV footage while physically abusing her household staff inside the Ambassador’s residence in Brazil.
“I could hardly believe she would do such undiplomatic act,” Seguis told the Manila Bulletin in a text message.
The retired former foreign affairs undersecretary for special concerns recalled that Mauro worked with him when she was vice-chairman of a DFA office overseeing overseas voting sometime in 2004 to 2006.
“I know her personally as she worked with me in the Office of the Undersecretary for Special Concerns as Vice-Chair of DFA Overseas Voters Secretariat and, in that position, she displayed professionalism and competence in her assigned tasks. She was soft-spoken and slow to anger,” Seguis recalled.
The retired DFA official who handled different sensitive portfolios in the country’s foreign service in the span of an almost four-decade-long diplomatic career, also remembered Mauro’s stint in other countries, particularly in northern Italy where she was once posted as consul general to Milan.
“The Filipino communities there were happy and thankful to her as she had helped resolve many of their problems,” he said.
While he declined to predict the outcome of the investigation to be conducted by a DFA probe panel, Seguis, nevertheless, said, many of Mauro’s senior officers in the Home Office “believe in her character and commitment to the service.”
Mauro is set to arrive in Manila next week to face the probe after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. issued her a recall order.
On Tuesday, Locsin said the DFA’s response to Mauro’s case will be “severe to the fullest extent of the law” to ensure that such cases, especially those involving high-ranking diplomats, will never be tolerated.