Go on removal of PH envoy to Brazil: A lesson to all public officials

Published March 2, 2021, 3:43 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Justice is served.

This was how Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go described President Duterte’s signing and approval last night of the findings and recommendation by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFS) for the dismissal of then Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go

Mauro’s case involved the reported maltreatment and abuse of a Filipino embassy household staff member in the Philippine embassy in Brazil.

Go, a former Special Assistant to President Duterte, reminded concerned authorities to make sure that justice is served and the accused is made to face the consequences of his or her actions to the fullest extent of the law.

The President’s decision metes out the penalty of dismissal from the service, with the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office, among others.

“I hope that this serves as a lesson to all public officials that we will not tolerate any form of abuse of power. As the President always emphasized, our duty is always to protect the lives and welfare of our people,” Go emphasized. 

The DFA’s fact-finding team concluded Mauro had inflicted physical harm on her household staff inside the official residence on several occasions.

The former ambassador will be administratively charged for gross violation of the Philippine Foreign Service Act, grave misconduct, grave offense of oppression, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

In an earlier statement, Go slammed Mauro’s conduct and expressed support for domestic helpers and other overseas Filipinos, especially those who are victims of violence and cruelty abroad.

He offered assistance to the household staff member who returned to the Philippines from Brasilia, Brazil last October 21 and encouraged others to report to his office similar incidents and other forms of abuse.

Go, who is also a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, sternly reminded all public officials to strictly comply with the standards set forth in the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and other applicable standards, such as those in the Foreign Service Act.  

Go then reiterated his push for the passage of his bill that seeks to establish the Department of Overseas Filipinos.

Senate Bill 1949 is currently being deliberated in the Senate after having been identified as one of the priority legislations of the 18th Congress.

The House of Representatives approved a similar measure in September of last year. President Duterte also certified this measure as urgent. 

“It is about time that we create a Cabinet-level, secretary-led department with an organization structured to work together as one team to protect the rights and advance the interests and welfare of about ten percent of our population who reside abroad,” explained the Senator.

Go emphasized the country must ramp up its mechanisms to protect Filipinos from any form of abuse especially those abroad who need immediate support and guidance from government.