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PH detains Italian diplomat for alleged child abuse

MANILA, Philippines – An Italian diplomat detained in the Philippines is being investigated for alleged child abuse after he was found in the company of 3 boys, the government said Monday, April 7.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said police arrested Daniele Bosio at a water fun park in Biñan, Laguna, south of Metro Manila, over the weekend following a tip-off from a local child rights group.

"He is now in detention while his case is undergoing preliminary investigation with the fiscal," De Lima told Agence France-Presse. "He was caught in the company of 3 boys, ages 8 to 12 years old."

Bosio, the Italian ambassador to Turkmenistan, was on holiday in the Philippines when he was detained, the Italian foreign ministry said earlier in Rome.

De Lima said police alleged Bosio had violated the country's law on anti-trafficking and abuse of children, and prosecutors were conducting followup investigations.

Neither De Lima nor local police would give details of the specific allegations against Bosio. She did not say how long the investigation would take.

'No diplomatic immunity'

De Lima said Bosio would be unable to invoke diplomatic immunity because he was not stationed in the Philippines.

Region IV-A police director Chief Superintendent Jesus Gatchalian said Bosio was being held in a jail in Biñan. "Officials from the Italian Embassy in the Philippines have already visited him," Gatchalian said.

Agence France-Presse was unable to reach anyone from the Italian embassy for comment.

An official at the embassy initially said only the ambassador would comment on the issue, but subsequent phone calls to try and reach him went unanswered. – Rappler.com