Duterte OKs probe on PH envoy accused of mistreating staff

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2020   •   405

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.

DFA warns vs ‘travel exemption fee’ scam targeting foreigners

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday warned the public against a travel fee scam targeting foreign nationals who wish to enter the Philippines amid imposed travel restrictions.

In an advisory the DFA said they received reports of a “travel exemption fee” that supposedly allows the entry of foreign nationals into the country.

The DFA reiterated that it does not collect such fees “or any kind of fee whatsoever for the purpose of allowing foreign nationals to enter the country.”

“Foreign nationals should be guided by the latest advisory of the Bureau of Immigration as to who are allowed to enter the Philippines during the State of Public Health Emergency,” the advisory reads.

The foreign affairs department also said travel restrictions are still being implemented in the country amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. AAC

DFA Consular Office in Legazpi, Albay suspends operations until Nov. 12

Marje Pelayo   •   November 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) informs the public that its Consular Office in Legazpi, Albay will be closed on Wednesday (November 11), due to inclement weather brought by Tropical Storm Ulysses.

The announcement is in line with Disaster Risk Reduction Management/ Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (DRRM/CCAM) Council Advisory No. 25 s. 2020 of the city government of Legazpi.

The Consular Office – Legazpi will resume its regular operations on Thursday (November 12), unless otherwise advised.

In view of this, affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing the Consular Office at legazpi.rco@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

– Name

– Date of birth

– Original appointment date and time

– Preferred date and time of new appointment

The preferred new appointment may be on any working day from Monday to Friday from November 12 to December 11 during the Consular Office regular operation hours from 10:00AM to 5:00PM.

Applicants who need an emergency or urgent consular service may email the Consular Office  at legazpi.rco@dfa.gov.ph. 

Formal charge served vs ex-PH envoy to Brazil over alleged staff mistreatment — Locsin

Robie de Guzman   •   November 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A formal charge has been served on former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro over her alleged acts of abuse against her Filipina household service staff, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Monday.

On his Twitter account, Locsin said the formal charge was served on Mauro on Monday morning and that he has already informed President Rodrigo Duterte about it.

“Charge served on her at 8:25 a.m. today. I sent a Memo to the President on it,” he said.

“The Hearing Panel’s report and charge will be passed upon and approved/disapproved by the Board of Foreign Service Administration; and finally by the Secretary. It shouldn’t take too long,” he added.

Mauro returned to the Philippines last week after she was recalled from her post following the release of video footage showing her berating and mistreating her household staff.

Locsin earlier said he has formed a panel to look into the series of alleged physical abuse that Mauro committed against her household helper.

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