MANILA — The Philippine Consulate General in Milan on Tuesday said it is anticipating the imminent filing of criminal cases against those implicated in defrauding hundreds of Filipinos who collectively paid millions in fees for promised jobs in Italy that turned out to be fake.
The consulate, in a statement, said aggravated fraud charges would be filed against alleged recruitment scammers associated with Alpha Assistenza SRL "in two weeks."
Atty. Bruno de Blasi, an Italian lawyer, has been tapped to represent the 100 complainants currently in Italy, it said.
They collectively represent 269 Filipinos in the Philippines who, under the decreto flussi program, were allegedly charged a minimum of €3,000 each (P180,000 each) for job placements in Italy that did not materialize, the consulate added.
"The hiring of a lawyer to represent complainants against Alpha Assistenza in Italy was among the recommendations made by Consul General [Elmer] Cato to the Department of Foreign Affairs as early as 31 August 2023," the consulate said.
Cato "made the recommendation a few days after the Consulate launched an investigation into the complaints filed by an initial nine individuals against Alpha Assistenza CEO Diane Krizelle Respicio," it also said.
The consulate said it awarded the legal representation contract to De Blasi after he submitted "the most competitive proposal" among four lawyers who expressed interest in the case.
The selection was made Sunday during a signing ceremony attended by Cato. De Blasi also met with the complainants on that day.