Fraud cases to be filed soon vs. firm in Italy recruitment scam

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

November 21, 2023, 9:28 pm

MANILA – Criminal cases will be filed soon against officials of a firm involved in the alleged fraud and illegal recruitment of Filipinos in Italy, the Philippine Consulate General in Milan said Tuesday.

The Consulate said it cases of aggravated fraud against officials of Alpha Assistenza SRL will be filed in two weeks by Bruno de Blasi, the Italian lawyer who was selected to represent the 100 Filipino complainants based in Italy.

The victims reportedly paid exorbitant fees for relatives in the Philippines to secure what later turned out to be non-existent jobs in Italy.

The Consulate said it awarded De Blasi the contact on Nov. 29 to provide legal services to the complainants after submitting the “most competitive proposal” among four lawyers who expressed interest in the case.

The complainants in Italy represent the 269 Filipinos, based in the Philippines, who paid at least 3,000 euros each for non-existent jobs in Italy under the decreto flussi program.

Decreto flussi is an immigration policy that states how and when non-European Union nationals can enter Italy. It also determines the allowed number of immigrants per country.

De Blasi met with complainants at the Kalayaan Hall of the Consulate also on Sunday.

The hiring of a lawyer to represent complainants against Alpha Assistenza in Italy was among the recommendations the consulate made to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as early as Aug. 31, Consul General Elmer Cato said.

The recommendation was made a few days after the Consulate launched an investigation into the complaints filed by an initial nine individuals against Alpha Assistenza chief executive officer Diane Krizelle Respicio.

DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo approved the endorsement of Migrant Workers Affairs Undersecretary Jose Eduardo De Vega to assist the complainants using the DFA legal assistance fund. (PNA)