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MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened the investigation on Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro who was caught on CCTV footage assaulting her service staff inside the diplomatic residence, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. announced Friday.

Locsin said the administrative proceeding was initiated by show cause order. An initial report is expected within 15 days.

“I received Presidential Directive no. 2020-196 directing the DFA to investigate the alleged abusive conduct of the Philippine Ambassador to Brazil confirming his verbal authorization; we have 15 days to report to the Presidential Management Staff,” he said in a statement.

The fact-finding team will be led by Consul General to Sydney Ezzedin Tago, Chief of Mission Jaime Ledda, Narciso Castañeda, and lawyer Ihna Alyssa Marie Santos.

“The HRMO (Human Resources Management Office) conducts a preliminary investigation whose report goes to me. If there’s prima facie case, I issue a formal charge prepared by OTLA (Office of Treaties and Legal Affairs),” Locsin said.

The presidential approval triggered the formation of the hearing panel which shall submit a report to the Board of Foreign Service Administration.

The Board will then submit its recommendation to Locsin who will forward a final recommendation to the President.

Brazilian news outlet GloboNews earlier released CCTV footage showing Mauro slapping her Filipino helper.

In separate incidents, she could be seen throwing a piece of cloth on the household worker’s face and pulling her ears to the point that the Filipina was crying.

The helper left Brazil on October 21 and is back in the Philippines.

Locsin is currently reaching out to the victim.

“I am reaching out to her with financial help right now as an OFW, without any conditions because we are DFA not animals; we help the helpless period, no exchange; helping is its own exchange,” he said. (PNA)

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