Monday, September 19, 2016

DFA looking into abuse complaint vs. PHL's top envoy to UN

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday said it takes seriously the complaint leveled against the country’s top diplomat to the United Nations by her former housekeeper, who claimed she was maltreated by the envoy.
“We have taken note of this and of course we take this matter very seriously,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose told reporters.  "We refer this matter to our appropriate office to look into this."
Jose said the DFA will ask Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre, the Philippines’ Permanent Representative to the UN, to explain her side.
“It is also important that we get the side of our own people on this issue,” Jose said.
The matter has also been referred to the DFA Human Resource department, which will make the appropriate action on Yparraguirre, a seasoned career diplomat and a lead negotiator for the Philippines-United States negotiations on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in Manila and Washington DC.
EDCA, a key defense accord between the Philippines and US, allows American troops greater access to the country.
“We have just referred this so we will see what action our personnel office will take regarding this matter,” Jose said.
Milagros Braza, who sought the help of migrant worker advocacy group Blas F. Ople Policy Center, cited several instances of abuse she allegedly suffered from Yparraguirre.
Among her complaints include allegedly being thrown out of the ambassador’s residence on Christmas Day in 2015, and being made to work for the official's other relatives with no extra pay.
The 59-year-old domestic helper also claimed she was verbally abused by Yparraguirre.
Jose said the DFA’s personnel division will decide if there is a need to send a team to New York to investigate on the complaint. —KBK, GMA News

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