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Raps filed vs firm for duping Pinoys in Italy

CRIMINAL charges have been filed against two officers of Alpha Assistenza SRL who allegedly defrauded Filipinos into paying 3,000 euros (roughly P180,000) each for non-existent jobs in Italy, according to the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Milan.

On Sunday, the PCG said that «aggravated fraud» was filed before the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Milan against Diane Kristine Respicio and John Dutaro, chief executive officers of the immigration consultancy firm.

The first 11 complaints were filed by Bruno De Blasi, the Italian lawyer hired by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to represent the 100 Filipino complainants based in Italy, the consulate said in a statement.

Victims have filed a class suit against Respicio, Dutaro, and others allegedly involved in defrauding 269 Filipinos — mostly their relatives in the Philippines — seeking work in Italy under the «decreto flussi» program, the consulate said.

Earlier, the consulate learned that some immigration firms are asking for 500 euros (P30,000) as a reservation fee and up to 5,000 euros (P300,000) as a processing fee for the 452,000 jobs under the decreto flussi program that Italy will allocate for Filipinos and other foreign workers in the next three years.

According to the Consulate General, De Blasi will be filing additional complaints in the coming days before the Office of the Public Prosecutor, which is expected to review the complaints and decide whether to bring the case to trial.

«The filing of the complaints comes less than two weeks after the Consulate tapped De Blasi as legal representative of the 100 Filipinos who wanted to take Respicio, Dutaro, and others to court for allegedly failing to deliver the promised jobs for their relatives that they paid as much as 3,000 euros (P180,000) each for,» the PCG said.

The hiring of a lawyer to represent complainants was among the recommendations made by the PCG when it started an investigation into the alleged fraudulent transactions involving Alpha Assistenza.

Moreover, the PCG said that the hiring of a lawyer to represent the complainants against Alpha Assistenza in Italy was among the recommendations of Consul General Elmer Cato to the DFA as