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Bong Go condemns maltreatment of PH embassy househelp

Bong Go
Bong Go abhors maltreatment of PH embassy household worker in Brazil

SENATOR and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Christopher “Bong” Go expressed abhorrence at the reported maltreatment of a household worker by the Philippine ambassador to Brazil, Marichu Mauro.

He confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered an investigation into the reported incidents of physical abuse toward the worker.

“Walang karapatan saktan ng ambassador ang isang kasambahay. Wala pong may karapatang manakit ng kapwa. Inaalagaan kayo ng maayos ng inyong kasambahay, alagaan niyo rin naman ng maayos ang kasambahay ninyo lalo na’t kayo nalang nga magkakasama doon sa ibang bansa,” said Go.

“The President has always been firm – the protection and promotion of the rights, welfare and well-being of Filipinos overseas is a paramount responsibility of our Government. Our ambassadors are duty-bound to carry out this mandate, no questions asked,” he continued.

Go spoke out in support of domestic helpers who are reportedly subjected to violence and punishment, making it clear that absolutely no one has the right to hurt another. He reassured that an impartial investigation will be carried out consistent with the relevant provisions of the law, including the Foreign Service Act of 1991.

“Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, uunahin namin palagi ang kapakanan at buhay ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino na nagtatrabaho ng maayos para buhayin ang pamilya nila. Lalo na ‘yung mga kababayan nating kasambahay na nawalay sa pamilya para lang makapagbigay ng maayos na buhay para sa kanilang mga anak,” he said.

“Dapat rin maging patas ang imbestigasyong ito upang lumabas ang katotohanan at mapanagot ang nang-aapi. May order na po ang [Department of Foreign Affairs] na i-recall ang Ambassador at inaasahan nasa bansa na siya ng November 2 para harapin ang imbestigasyon,” he added.

The senator sternly reminded ambassadors, consuls and other officials to protect and serve their fellow Filipinos and set a good example being high ranking representatives of the country.

“Paalala ko lang na ang trabaho ng isang ambassador ay pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino at kayo po ang dapat na maging tamang halimbawa sa bawat mamamayan dahil mandato ninyong proteksyunan ang mga kababayan natin sa ibang bansa,” said Go.

“Sabi nga ng Pangulo, regardless of social status, pantay pantay po tayong mga Pilipino. Pareho po kayong mga kababayan sa mata ng Pangulo at sa mata ng batas. Kaya importante po na lumabas ang katotohanan at maparusahan kung mapatunayang nang-api,” he emphasized.

Go continued and offered assistance to the domestic helper in the video footage who returned to the Philippines from Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, last October 21.

“Bukas po ang aking opisina sa household staff na nagtrabaho para sa ambassador. Siya raw po ay nauna nang nakabalik sa bansa. Kung anumang tulong mabibigay namin ay ibibigay ko sa abot ng aking makakaya. Kung gusto n’ya po ng ibang trabaho o maghanap-buhay dito sa ating bansa ay handa po kaming tumulong sa kanya,” he pledged, before encouraging the public to report similar incidents of abuse to his office.

“Sa sinumang gusto magsumbong ng pangmamaltrato, lalo na ‘yung mga house staff workers at kasambahay na may hinaing, nandito po ang aming tanggapan.”

According to Go, he and the President had discussed and expressed the same view against violence and injustice. Once again, he stressed that no one has the right to physically or verbally assault another.

“Sabi ng Pangulo: wala nga pong karapatang saktan ng isang ambassador ang isang katulong bagama’t katulong n’yo po siya ay dapat nga po alagaan n’ya dahil sila lang po ang magkakasama doon sa ibang bansa. Ambassador, inaalagaan ka ng katulong, alagaan mo naman ng maayos ang katulong,” he appealed.

In an interview on October 28, Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. vowed the DFA’s response to the case would be “severe to the fullest extent of the law”. He reassured the DFA would dole out the appropriate sanctions and administrative or criminal charges against Mauro, should it be deemed necessary.