Labour groups in the Philippines slam envoy over domestic help abuse

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Labour groups in the Philippines denounced Ambassador to Brazil, Marichu Mauro for allegedly maltreating her house helper after video footage showing the ambassador physically abusing the woman emerged.

They also criticised the ambassador for causing embarrassment to the Philippines and all Filipinos before the world community and called on the government to mete justice on Mauro and make her pay reparations to her former household staff.

The United Domestic Workers of the Philippines (United), which claims 2,000 members, said the envoy’s actions betrayed her low regard for domestic workers and demanded that the ambassador pay reparations to her 51-year-old helper.

“The government should act on this so she would be punished and held accountable for trampling on the dignity of a domestic worker,” United’s president, Novelita Palisoc, said.

Another group, Migrante Philippines, demanded that aside from being dismissed from the foreign service, Mauro should also face charges in court.

“Mauro made life for her household staff a living hell and we call on the Philippine government to cancel her diplomatic immunity and to press criminal charges for physically abusing her 51-year-old household worker,” the group said.

Migrante said a complaint should be brought before the Ombudsman “to strip off her right to claim retirement and other benefits. Most of all, Mauro should be placed behind bars.”

Groups under the coalition Pagkakaisang Uring Manggagawa (Paggawa) demanded Mauro’s immediate dismissal based on the video evidence, but said the investigation should identify the others who “either condoned such disgusting behaviour or turned a blind eye.”

Paggawa spokesperson Leody de Guzman also challenged the Department of Labour and Employment to “join organized labour’s call for the immediate dismissal of Ambassador Mauro.”

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. had already said on Wednesday that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) would deal with Mauro’s alleged physical abuse of her maid to the “fullest extent of the law.”

Locsin said that President Duterte had been clear from the beginning that his administration will do everything to protect the rights of every single Filipino worker abroad.

“All our diplomats are held to an even higher standard by virtue of their profession’s mandate, not least to be the face of our compassionate country, and sworn commitment to public service,” Locsin added.

The alleged abuse came to light after a report from Brazilian news outlet Globo News showed video footage of Mauro physically abusing her household help multiple times on different occasions inside the diplomat’s residence.

The video had no audio but Mauro appeared to be berating her helper on several occasions, at times pointing her finger at the victim’s face. There was a footage showing Mauro throwing what seemed to be a towel on the victim’s face.

In one incident, Mauro was seen slapping her helper but stopped when somebody entered the house.

The ambassador was also seen pulling the victim’s ears on several instances. At one point, the helper slumped on the floor as she tried to avoid getting her ears pulled by Mauro. In some incidents, the victim appeared helpless as she covered her ears from Mauro.

The helper is back in the Philippines, according to the DFA. (Source: INQUIRER.net)

 

 

 

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