Duterte OKs probe on PH envoy accused of mistreating staff

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2020   •   745

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to proceed with the investigation into a Philippine envoy’s alleged maltreatment of her service staff in Brazil, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Thursday.

“In light of the gravity of the allegations against the ambassador, the President has given the green light to proceed with the investigation of the official concerned, as recommended by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs,” Go said in a statement.

The DFA earlier said it needed the approval of the president to conduct a probe against Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro who was caught on CCTV maltreating her unidentified Filipina household service staff on several occasions.

Section 51 of the Foreign Service Act states that “Chiefs of Mission who are commissioned by the President as ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary shall not be investigated by the Board [of Foreign Service Administration] or separated from the service unless there is an express written directive from the President.”

“The President has always been firm – the protection and promotion of the rights, welfare and well-being of Filipinos overseas is a paramount responsibility of our government,” Go said.

“Our ambassadors are duty-bound to carry out this mandate, no questions asked,” he added.

Go further stated that the “impartial investigation will be carried out consistent with relevant provisions of the law, particularly the Foreign Service Act of 1991.”

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier said a team has been formed to investigate Mauro and the circumstances surrounding the issue.

Mauro has been ordered to return home to face the investigation.

She has yet to issue a statement regarding the allegations.

Repatriates from the UAE reach 3,000 — DFA

Maris Federez   •   July 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has repatriated a total of 3,000 distressed Filipinos from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since the start of the pandemic.

The 7th special chartered flight from the UAE that carried 359 overseas Filipinos — including 112 pregnant Filipinos and 12 persons with disabilities — arrived at the Davao International Airport on Sunday morning.

“We are working double-time to make sure our kababayans in distress get the much-needed repatriation the soonest. Pregnant women, PWDs, and those with special needs are given due consideration to expediting their return home,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said in a news release Sunday.

The DFA said the repatriation of Filipinos from the UAE was made successful in coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, the City Government of Davao, and other government agencies.

“We send our appreciation to our partner agencies, especially to the City Government of Davao, for the invaluable assistance to the repatriates upon their arrival. This is a clear example of the whole-of-government approach that the administration promised in assisting our distressed OFs,” Arriola added.

The DFA said all repatriates received a10,000-peso reintegration assistance.

Their return flight ticket, free quarantine facility, and swab test were also provided by the Philippine government. —/mbmf

DFA tells public: Temporarily stop using GCash in securing passport appointment online

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in its latest advisory advises the public to temporarily refrain from using GCash for their payments when using the agency’s online passport appointment system.

The agency said they are receiving numerous reports on errors, double charging, and unconfirmed appointments from applicants who paid through GCash while securing an appointment from DFA’s online passport appointment system website.

“Based on the advice received from Paymaya, the payment gateway for all passport appointments online, the reported issues occurred as some transactions which have already been declined by Paymaya were still approved by GCash,” the DFA said.

“Thus, applicants’ GCash accounts were still debited even if they did not receive appointment confirmations,” it added.

The DFA, through its Office of Consular Affairs (OCA), assures the public that it is closely coordinating with Paymaya as they resolve the issue with GCash.

DFA logs two new COVID cases among overseas Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   June 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported two new COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad.

Likewise, three overseas Filipino workers (OFW) recovered from the infection and no new fatalities were recorded.

Overall, DFA logged a total of 20,424 cases of COVID-19 among Filipinos from different parts of the world.

Of this number, 7,108 are currently undergoing treatment.

Also, 12,096 recovered and a total of 1,220 succumbed to the disease in all 94 countries and territories around the globe.

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