MANILA— Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said he would push for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to earmark funds for the purchase of closed-circuit television cameras under its 2021 budget for use in diplomatic facilities across the globe, after a Filipino diplomat was caught on camera maltreating a house helper.
Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro went viral globally over the weekend after international news agencies started airing a CCTV footage showing the diplomat repeatedly assaulting a Filipina house helper.
"If we add budget for CCTVs para sa lahat ng opisina nila (DFA) sa iba't ibang embahada buong mundo... At least that would be a great deterrent," Zubiri told Teleradyo's Pasada.
(If we add budget for CCTVs for all DFA offices and embassies in different parts of the world... At least that would be a great deterrent.)
In previous years, several overseas Filipino workers complained of being abused inside Philippine embassies and diplomatic posts, but they had no videos to prove their allegations, Zubiri said.
"Grabe 'yung complaints natin sa ibang bansa... Pinapagalitan natin ang world leaders doon kung gaano nila inaabuso ang ating mga kababayan tapos makikita natin... you (ambassador) maltreat the same people you are supposed to protect," he said.
(We've been complaining against other countries... We have been reprimanding world leaders over their ill treatment of our countrymen and then we have an ambassador who maltreats the same people she is supposed to protect.)
Zubiri said he would also ask foreign affairs officials to submit "psychological reports" about diplomats who will be posted abroad.
"I don't think there is anything wrong kung mag-neurotest din po ang ating mga aplikante sa iba't ibang embahada just to see na walang ganitong klaseng pangyayari ang mangyayari muli."
(I don't think there is anything wrong if our applicants to different embassies undergo neurotests just to see that incidents like these would not happen again.)
The "unforgivable" ambassador should just resign "out of embarrassment," Zubiri said. Mauro was immediately recalled after news of her abusive treatment of her service staff came to light.
"If she still has integrity and dignity left, she should resign," he said.
"Ito po ay alter ego ng ating bansa... kung 'yun ang naipalabas, sa international news media outlets pa, nakakahiya. Nakakahiya talaga," he said.
(She is the alter ego of our country... When that was shown in international news media outlets, it was embarrassing. It's really embarrassing.)