Palace explains why ex-envoy to Brazil was fired

Published March 2, 2021, 5:48 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The “sibakization” of the country’s former ambassador to Brazil should serve as a reminder for people to treat others with respect and fairness, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President decided to fire the former ambassador over the maltreatment of a Filipino household staffer, insisting Duterte has a soft spot for the poor and the oppressed.

On Monday, the President announced the dismissal of Marichu Mauro, the country’s former ambassador to Brazil, from government after she was caught on video maltreating a Filipino member of her household staff last year. The penalties included revocation of retirement of benefits and disqualification from public life.

“Malapit po ang puso ng ating Presidente sa maliliit (The poor are are close to the President’s heart) at nawa ay magsilbi itong aral na tratuhin ang bawat tao – matanda, bata, lalaki, babae, mahirap, mayaman, kasambahay, katrabaho – nang tama at pantay-pantay (We hope this incident will serve as a lesson to treat each person — old, young, man, woman, rich, poor, household, co-worker — right and equally),” he said during a Palace press briefing Tuesday, March 2.

Last October, the Department of Foreign Affairs recalled the ambassador to explain the reported maltreatment of a service staff. A Brazilian news channel earlier released a video showing the envoy berating and maltreating the household helper inside the diplomatic residence. The department later launched an inquiry into the alleged abusive conduct of Mauro, and submitted its recommendation to the President.

“Hindi ko po alam kung ano ang gagawin niya pero hayan po, iyan ang kaniyang parusa sa kaniyang pagmamalupit sa kaniyang kasambahay (I don’t know what she will do next but that’s the punishment for maltreatment of the household staffer),” Roque said.

“Sibakization na po ang dati nating ambahador to Brazil,” he added.