DFA relieves employee for disrespecting PWD

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) acted on a citizen's complaint over social media on how she was harassed in the passport courtesy lane.

"The consular staff involved has been relieved from his duties while the Department is investigating this incident," DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato told reporters Friday, adding that it was an isolated case.

Cato added that the Department has always placed serious importance on how consular staff interact with people applying for passports.

"As a result of the incident this morning, we will redouble our efforts to ensure that no person with disability would go through a similar experience when transacting with the Department," he added.

DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, had choice words for the yet unnamed erring staff over Twitter.

"I am at a total loss for words except that I will seriously consider a proposal for chemical castration to prevent this behavior from being passed on. I am deeply sorry," Locsin said.

The complaint came from polio survivor Macon Ramos-Araneta, a broadsheet journalist, who went through the persons with disability (PWD) lane to process her passport.

She went to the DFA early and had with her a photocopy of her PWD ID. Members of the consular staff had asked her to check if she wasn't lying about her disability.

"The guard approached me so I moved my pants upward to show that my right foot is smaller than my left … all you need to do is see me walk," she said on Facebook.

"In the first place, why would I fake it, and why would you want to be a polio victim," she said.