The Philippines’ ambassador to Brazil has been ordered to return home to face investigation after video surfaced allegedly showing her physically mistreating a Filipino domestic employee, officials said on Monday.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jnr said in a tweet that the diplomat, who was identified by his department as ambassador Marichu Mauro, was recalled rapidly “to explain the maltreatment of her service staff”.
The video footage, reportedly taken from security cameras in the ambassador’s residence in Brasilia and shown by a Brazilian news agency, showed a woman mistreating somebody who appeared to be a house worker, including by pulling her hair and ear.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said in a statement that the unidentified worker left Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, on October 21 and has returned to the Philippines.
“The DFA is reaching out to her to ensure her well-being and cooperation in the investigation,” the department said.Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a populist leader known for his brash language, has vowed to protect the welfare of Filipino workers abroad, especially domestic helpers. Still, reports of abuses remain rampant, especially in Middle Eastern countries. In past speeches, Duterte has asked returning workers to slap airport customs personnel who would try to extort money or gifts from them and vowed to punish such abusive government personnel harshly.