Labor groups cry: Fire Ambassador Marichu Mauro
MANILA, Philippines — Several labor groups have called for the dismissal of recalled Philippine ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro after being caught on video abusing the Filipina domestic helper working in her diplomatic residence.
In a statement on Thursday, socialist labor coalition Pagkakaisa ng Uring Manggagawa (Paggawa), which includes the National Confederation of Labor (NCL) and the Kilusan ng Manggagawang Makabayan (KMM-Katipunan), insisted that the actions of Mauro were insulting as Filipinos abroad expect protection from authorities in their areas.
Instead, they noted that the protector herself was the one doing abusive actions.
“These disgusting actions by no less than a high ranking diplomat of our government is utterly revolting. At a time when millions of Filipino workers here and abroad are suffering from rampant employer abuse and a pandemic-induced economic crisis, the actions of Ms. Mauro become doubly insulting,” NCL President Ernesto Arellano said.
“PAGGAWA demands nothing less than the immediate dismissal of Ms. Mauro not just from foreign service, but also from government service,” he added.
The irony of Mauro abusing the domestic worker when her mandate is to defend abused overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) was also not lost on KMM-Katipunan President Nathanial Clores.
Mauro was ordered recalled last Monday after a closed-circuit television camera captured her mauling a 51-year-old household help who works for her. According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., they would use the full extent of the law against Mauro.
“It is well-documented that many of our OFWs, especially domestic workers, are victims of physical abuse by their foreign employers. The appalling irony, in this case, is that the perpetrator is the same person that’s supposed to protect our workers overseas!” Clores exclaimed.
“How can we expect to defend our Bagong Bayanis when our own foreign attaché is no different from an abusive foreign employer?” he asked.
While Paggawa welcomed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Locsin’s assurance and actions on the issue, the labor coalition questioned the alleged silence of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“What does the DOLE have to say about all of this? Secretary Bello, and by extension the entire Duterte administration, must demonstrate that they do not tolerate this kind of behavior towards workers, especially from public servants,” Paggawa spokesperson Leody de Guzman added.
“The DOLE must join organized labor’s call for the immediate dismissal of Ambassador Mauro,” he stressed.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte approved a probe on Mauro’s maltreatment issues raised by Locsin himself.
Although unfortunate, reports of OFWs being abused were not rare. But most of these reports centered on abuses done by their employers — usually, foreigners, not Filipinos and not government authorities placed to protect OFWs. [ac]
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