Former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro is “easy to get along with” and a “good leader,” an Italy-based Filipina migrant worker said in an open letter vouching for the character of the embattled diplomat. 

mauro - Ambassador Mauro is friendly, easy to get along with — former staff members
Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro

“As a FilCom (Filipino Community) leader here in Milan, I could say that she is easy to get along with and a good leader,” Sonia Manangan Monsod said in her letter dated Nov. 7, 2020.

The letter came as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is set to charge Mauro for maltreating her Filipina household help as seen in the leaked CCTV footage taken inside the Ambassador’s residence in Brasilia. 

Before becoming an OFW, Munsod introduced herself as a former employee of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region IV (Southern Tagalog) from 1978 to 1987. 

In 1996, she started volunteering at the Philippine Consulate General’s office in Milan. It was in April 2014 when the OFW personally met Mauro, then the newly designated consul general to northern Italy.

“I met her as a friend, not ConGen. She’s very kind and friendly,” the OFW recalled her experience with Mauro while working as a volunteer staff for the Social Security System from 2017 to 2018. 

“She knows how to get along with her staff, very cheerful and really professional.”

Last Friday, a male OFW who presented himself as a leader of pro-Duterte organizations in Italy, called on the Philippine government to accord Mauro the “right to be heard” instead of being vilified in social media.

In a letter to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., “Rolando” (not his real name) said that while he does not condone Mauro’s actions toward her household help, “the alleged maltreatment might have stained the very distinguished record of Ambassador Mauro.”

Rolando, who has been working in Italy since 1984, said he heads both the United DDS Milan and the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC) in entire Italy.

“This is the dot that tainted Ambassador Mauro – an otherwise good piece of paper. But how about the white sheet which represents her worthwhile qualities and achievements? Should we allow the dot to overshadow the many positive aspects she brought to the plight of the Overseas Filipino Workers especially in Italy?” he wrote.

In a tweet on Saturday, Nov. 7, Locsin said a DFA panel will conduct the trial of Ambassador Mauro shortly after a charge has been filed, even as he assured the speedy resolution of the case.

“Yes, a formal charge will be made on Monday, it is already in my laptop… Then a panel will try her. While this can take a long time it won’t. Pourqua? Moi is SFA (Secretary of Foreign Affairs). Then I send the judgment to PMS (Presidential Management Staff),” Locsin said.

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