Filipinos in Mali told to prepare for evacuation as DFA raises alert level 2

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020   •   459

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday advised Filipinos based in Mali to limit their movements and prepare for possible evacuation as it raised alert level 2 amid the political unrest in the country.

“Filipinos in Mali are advised to coordinate with the Philippine Embassy in Rabat, Morocco for further advisories and may contact them at +212-694202178 or via email at rabat.pe@dfa.gov.ph,” the DFA said in a statement.

The department said it raised the Alert Level 2 in Mali last Sept. 18 due to the current political and security situation in the country.

“Alert Level 2 is issued when there are threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbances, instability, and/or external threat,” the DFA said.

Under this alert level, Filipinos are instructed to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and prepare for evacuation, it added.

Political unrest ensued in Mali after it installed a transition government following a coup that forced its president to resign.

Senators seek probe on PH envoy to Brazil accused of mistreating service staff

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Some senators are seeking a thorough investigation into the alleged maltreatment of a Filipino household worker by Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Joel Villanueva both expressed outrage, calling the actions of the country’s envoy “deplorable” and “conduct unbecoming a diplomat official.”

Mauro was caught on CCTV maltreating her unidentified Filipina service staff on several occasions.

The video footage was shown on the Brazilian news channel GloboNews last Sunday and was picked up by international news organizations.

“While watching the video, I was horrified to see the brazenness of our ambassador to Brazil in physically maltreating the embassy service staff. I cannot imagine how people in her position could enact such violence to the very people they are sworn to protect,” Zubiri said in a statement.

“How can we demand foreign employers of our OFWs, especially domestic helpers, to respect their rights and not maltreat them, when the very people who are supposed to protect and defend them abroad are the ones abusing them? This is such a terrible incident and a black eye on our image abroad,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has ordered Mauro to return to the Philippines and explain the matter.

Zubiri called on the DFA to immediately conduct an investigation and “prosecute the official if found violating labor laws and the Kasambahay Law.”

Villanueva also condemned the incident, stressing that the country’s embassies should be taking care of the welfare of Filipinos overseas.

“The incident should also serve notice to the diplomatic service that ‘as representatives of our country to a foreign land, one is expected to protect the well-being of our people starting with the ones at their own backyards,’” Villanueva added.

The senator also urged the DFA to examine existing grievance mechanisms in our posts to ensure that Filipinos have immediate recourse to the department’s head office in Maninla when incidents such as this happen to prevent its recurrence and escalation.

“This incident must give focus on what kind of grievance procedure our Embassies provide our OFWs. The DFA should recheck if there is an active system that actually works in providing protection to OFWs and any case of abuse and maltreatment does not go unchecked,” he said.

PH envoy to Brazil could face charges for staff abuse

Marje Pelayo   •   October 28, 2020

Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. on Wednesday (October 28) vowed to address ‘to the fullest extent of the law’  the incidents of physical abuse by former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro against her household staff.

In a series of tweets, Locsin said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be “firm in meting out the appropriate sanctions and administrative or criminal charges” on the former envoy if results of the investigation on the matter would demand as such.

Locsin broke the news of Mauro’s recall from post on Monday (October 26).

The incident of physical abuse by Mauro against her staff was aired over Brazilian news outlet GloboNews with dates listed on the video footage as taken in March, August and October this year.

As the Philippine Ambassador to Brazil, Mauro also held concurrent jurisdiction over Colombia and Venezuela.

READ: PH envoy to Brazil recalled over alleged maltreatment of staff — DFA

PH envoy to Brazil recalled over alleged maltreatment of staff — DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2020

Marichu Mauro

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said it has recalled the country’s envoy to Brazil over the alleged maltreatment of a member of the household staff.

In a statement, the DFA said it has directed the Philippine Ambassador to Brazil to “return home immediately following the release of a video footage showing her berating and mistreating her household staff.”

Marichu Mauro is the Philippine’s top diplomat to Brazil since 2018.

“The household staff left Brasilia on October 21 and is back in the Philippines. The DFA is reaching out to her to ensure her wellbeing and cooperation in the investigation,” the department said.

“The DFA assures the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted,” it added.

A Brazilian news network on Sunday reported that the victim is a 51-year old Filipino working as a domestic helper in the diplomatic residence.

The alleged incidents of maltreatment against the service staff were recorded on CCTV.

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., in a tweet, said Mauro will be asked to explain the alleged maltreatment of her staff.

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