Diplomat ‘lured children with clothes and sweets’

An Italian diplomat under investigation in the Phillipines for alleged child abuse is reported to have lured children with "clothes and sweets".

Diplomat 'lured children with clothes and sweets'
The Italian diplomat allegedly took the children to a water park near Manila Waterpark photo: Shutterstock

Daniele Bosio, Italy’s ambassador to Turkmenistan, was arrested at a water fun park near Manila at the weekend following a tip-off from a local child rights group, Bahay Tuluyan.

Leila de Lima, the Phillipines justice secretary, confirmed on Monday that Bosio was in detention after being caught in the company of three boys, aged 8 to 12 years old.

The Italian newspaper, Corriere, reported on Tuesday that the three boys told police that Bosio had taken them to his hotel room where “he took a bath in the tub” and had given them “clothes and sweets”.

Bosio was on holiday in the Philippines when he was detained.

Two women from Bahay Tuluyan, who were at the same water park on Saturday, became suspicious when they saw a foreigner with three young children and later alerted authorities.

Bosio reportedly told police that the boys were street children he met in Manila and that he obtained permission from their parents to bring them to the water park, although he later admitted this wasn't true, Corriere said.

In the Philippines, prosecutors officially lay charges in the court.

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

Bosio, who was suspended from his job following his arrest, is being held in a jail in the town of Binan, 39 kilometres (24 miles) from Manila.

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Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.

Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?