• A Filipina working for the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN has filed a complaint over alleged maltreatment
  • She claimed to have been forced to leave the envoy’s house on Christmas Eve of 2015 around 11 pm
  • The envoy also allegedly maltreated her several times

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been urged to look into a complaint against a top Philippine envoy to the UN by a household staff who accused the former of abuse.

Susan ‘Toots’ Ople of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a migrant worker advocacy group, said they received a complaint via Facebook from one Milagros Braza who alleged that she suffered abuse in the hands of Philippines’ Permanent Representative to the UN Lourdes Yparraguirre on several occasion.

Ople said the 59-year-old Braza sought the help of the center after the DFA failed to act on her complaint despite repeated appeals during the past administration.

“The Blas Ople Policy Center is urging the Dept of Foreign Affairs to probe the abusive behavior of Amb. Lourdes Yparraguirre against her kasambahay (house helper), Milagros Braza,” said Ople.

According to Ople, Yparraguirre forced Braza, who worked for the envoy, out of the former’s house on Christmas Eve of 2015, around 11 pm, after visitors arrived and decided to use the maid’s room to sleep over.

Braza was allegedly ordered to look for a cheaper place to stay and Yparraguire threatened to call the police if the former refused to leave.

“No matter how angry you are, you don’t do that to a fellow Filipino especially to a domestic worker under your employ in the winter cold, an hour before midnight in New York City,” Ople told the Manila Times.

On one instance, she was also asked by Yparraguire to take care of a relative who had just given birth without extra compensation. Braza further claimed the diplomat maltreated her several times.

Meanwhile, DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said they have taken note of Braza’s complaint and vowed to refer the matter to the appropriate office, the DFA Human Resource Department, to look into it.

Jose added they are also seeking the explanation from Yparraguirre to clarify the allegation leveled against her.

“We have just referred this so we will see what action our personnel office will take regarding this matter,” said Jose in a statement.