MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Consulate in Milan said Monday that it has been cooperating with Italian authorities since last month in its investigation into the cases of fraud and illegal recruitment that have victimized more than 200 Filipinos.
Consul General Elmer Cato said in a statement that he met Prefect Renato Saccone, the highest representative of the Italian federal government, on September 4 in Milan and requested the Italian official’s assistance in verifying the authenticity of the Italian work permits collected from complainants and witnesses in Italy and the Philippines.
After the documents were determined to be false, Cato said Sacconne immediately created a task force that will help complainants file the appropriate cases against those involved.
“This was just one of the actions the consulate took to protect the interests of our kababayan,” Cato said.
Cato said the meeting with Saccone took place after the consulate began receiving complaints from relatives and representatives of about 215 job seekers in the Philippines, who said they lost more than P38.7 million.
Cato reiterated his call for other complainants to come forward and file their complaints against the agencies that defrauded them.
He said the consulate expects several Filipinos to formally file their complaints. Fifty-one people have already filed complaints against three people and two institutions as of Monday.
The consulate simultaneously said that even more members of the Filipino community have come forward to ask for help following the announcement that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) will provide Italian lawyers to assist complainants. when filing cases against the persons and authorities involved.