The SALINLAHI Alliance for Children’s Concerns is upset over the acquittal of an Italian diplomat who was charged with a 2014 incident involving human trafficking and child abuse charges.
Kharlo Manano, secretary general of SALINLAHI, said that the decision by the regional trial court to acquit Italian diplomat Daniele Bosio is nothing short of a travesty.
Manano also said that: “We believe that the Malacañang intervened,” saying that President Benigno Aquino III’s recent trip to Italy came at an opportune time to acquit the diplomatic figure.
“The timing is quite suspect, it seemed that Aquino used it as ‘pasalubong’ (a gift) to the government of Italy in order to save the reputation of the Italian government in exchange for the promise of investments from the European country to our own,” he said in a statement.
Manano accused the court of having “intentionally closed its eyes on the merits of the complaint and merely echoed the argument of the accused that he only acted in response to his moral and social duty of helping the street children.”
Reports on the case showed that the court found no malice on the part of Daniele Bosio.
Basio was the Italian Ambassador to Turkmenistan at the time of the incident.
Further reports say that Basio was caught bathing minor boys in a resort in May 2014. He was arrested after he brought the three street children, all boys, to a resort in Binan, Laguna without the consent or knowledge of their parents.
All three boys were interviewed and told authorities that before going to the resort, Basio took them to his condominium where he scrubbed their naked bodies in a bathroom.
“It is very clear that Bosio has taken advantage of the vulnerability of the children by portraying himself as philanthropic, always ready to lend a hand to the less fortunate. This rhetoric has been rampantly used by paedophiles and sex offenders to justify their vile acts,” Manano said.
Authorities charged Basio with three counts of qualified human trafficking in persons, as well as three counts of other acts of child abuse.
A similar case against Bosio remains pending in a Quezon City court.
But to add suspect to the entire case, Basio left the Philippines just days after his acquittal – he flew back to Italy on November 26th, just two days after he was freed from the charges.
Manano urged the Department of Justice to review the decision of the Laguna Regional Trial Court and “hold accountable those who may have failed in their responsibility to bring forth justice.”
Concerned citizens also question how Basio was able to return to his country while a pending case that was left unheard and unanswered was still in question in Quezon City.