Locsin forms panel to probe PH envoy to Brazil

Published October 30, 2020, 1:08 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. formed a fact-finding team Friday to officially start the formal investigation on the alleged abusive conduct of Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

“It starts now,” Locsin said in a series of tweets. 

The composition of the team, Locsin explained, is in accordance with Presidential Directive No. 2020-196 with the specific task to probe Mauro who was recently caught on CCTV while maltreating her Filipina household inside the ambassador’s residence in Brazil.  

The team will be composed of Consul General to Sydney Ezzedin Tago; former Ambassador to The Netherlands Jaime Ledda; Narciso Castañeda of the DFA Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), and Atty. Ihna Alyssa Marie Santos of the department’s Human Resources Management Office (HRMO).

Locsin explained that administrative proceedings will be initiated by the issuance of a show-cause order to the parties involved. The HRMO will then conduct a preliminary investigation, after which a report will be submitted to the Office of the DFA Secretary. 

Once the investigators establish a prima facie case, the DFA Secretary will issue a formal charge to be prepared by the Office of the Legal Affairs (OTLA). 

Locsin cited Section 51 of Republic Act 7157, or the Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991, as the basis for initiating the investigation of Mauro. 

Under the  law, chiefs of mission commissioned by the President as ambassadors shall not be subjected to formal investigation without presidential approval which triggers the formation of the hearing panel.

Based on the report of the fact-finding team, the DFA Board of Foreign Service Administration will submit its recommendation to the DFA Secretary who, in turn, will present his own recommendation to the President.

Sources said Mauro is expected to return to Manila on or before Nov. 6 to submit herself to the investigation and to comply with the recall order issued by Locsin early this week.