Italian diplomat ‘seriously ill’ in Philippines jail

An Italian diplomat detained in the Philippines on child abuse charges insisted he was innocent and applied for bail on Wednesday, as he appeared before a court in deteriorating health.

Italian diplomat 'seriously ill' in Philippines jail
Daniele Bosio was arrested while on holiday in the Philippines in April. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP

With an arm attached to an intravenous drip, Daniele Bosio, 46, stumbled as he walked out of a heavily guarded police van and into court in Binan, a town about two hours' drive south of Manila.

The judge, Theodore Solis, suspended the intended arraignment session after Bosio's lawyers appealed his indictment and asked for a bail hearing.

"We asked for the reversal of the ruling of the prosecutor [because] he was deprived of due process," his lawyer, Romeo Lumagui, told reporters outside the court.

"He insists that he did nothing wrong, he did not violate any law." 

Bosio, who was then Italy's ambassador to Turkmenistan, was on holiday when arrested in April after a children's advocacy group told police they saw him acting inappropriately with three boys at a water fun park near Manila.

The boys, aged nine to 12, issued sworn statements to government social workers that Bosio had "fondled their sex organs" before he took them to the park, according to the prosecutor's complaint.

The prosecutor in the case, Agripino Baybay, charged Bosio with three counts of violating the country's child abuse law, and three counts of human trafficking. Those charges carry jail terms of between six years and life.

Baybay, in his findings, rejected Bosio's argument that he was only being compassionate by taking the children to have fun at the water park. He said allegations by the children against Bosio deserved a serious investigation.

Bosio had previously denied acting inappropriately with the boys and said he had taken the boys to the park as part of his longtime mission to help underprivileged children.

The administrator of a Filipino school has also said Bosio was an important benefactor who had helped students for many years.

Italy's foreign ministry suspended him shortly after he was arrested.

Bosio's younger brother, Andreas, said on Wednesday the diplomat had become increasingly weak since his detention, after initially being kept in a tiny cell no larger than a garage, which he shared by about 80 other inmates.

"He is seriously ill," he said, adding that Bosio had "kidney problems".

Authorities transferred him to a hospital on May 14th, where he has remained under police guard.

READ MORE: Italian diplomat faces child abuse charges

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Vatican suspends Chilean deacon accused of child abuse

The Vatican dismissed a Chilean deacon over sexual abuse accusations in central Chile, the archdiocese of the city of Rancagua said Friday, amid a widespread abuse scandal gripping the country's Catholic Church.

Vatican suspends Chilean deacon accused of child abuse
Pope Francis (pictured) in May accepted the resignation of five Chilean bishops amid accusations of abuse. Photo: AFP
Luis Rubio was arrested for improper conduct and sexual abuse of minors when he was in charge of a Las Cabras school in 2013.
A year later, the archdiocese of Rancagua dismissed him from his duties while an investigation was underway, with the results sent to the Vatican, which has now expelled him.
Rubio's case was brought to the forefront in May when a television report revealed an alleged network of sexual abuse carried out by a group of religious figures collectively known as “The Family.”
Rubio was interviewed in the report, during which he admitted he had “made a mistake, but not committed a crime.”
A total of 14 priests and other religious figures were suspended as the Church investigated the network, while Rancagua prosecutors also opened their own investigation.
Pope Francis in May accepted the resignation of five Chilean bishops amid accusations of abuse and related cover-ups. Meanwhile last week, prominent priest Oscar Munoz was arrested over allegations of sexual abuse and rape of at least seven children.
The pontiff also accepted the resignation of auxillary bishop Juan Jose Pineda in Honduras, who has faced allegations by former seminarians of sexual misconduct, the Vatican announced.
Pineda has given up his post as auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Church's archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, the Vatican said in a brief statement.
In March, former seminarians had accused the 57-year-old cleric of “serious sexual misconduct,” according to the US weekly National Catholic Register.
The alleged incidents happened earlier this decade when Pineda was teaching at the archdiocese's seminary for those studying for the priesthood.
Pineda was considered the righthand man of Honduran Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, one of the closest advisors to Pope Francis and head of the “C9”, a council of cardinals who assist the pontiff in reforming the Vatican.