MANILA — An Italian diplomat was arrested and charged for alleged child trafficking while inside a resort in Biñan City in Laguna.

Daniel Bosio (pictured above), 46, the Italian ambassador to Turkemenistan, was on holiday in the Philippines when he was arrested last Sunday, the Italian foreign ministry told AFP.

Chief Superintendent Jesus Gatchalian, director of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) regional police, said the diplomat was charged for violation of Republic Act 9208 (Trafficking in Persons) and is held at the Biñan City police detention cell.

He said representatives from the Italian Embassy went to the Biñan City Police to check on the diplomat.

“They (representatives from the Italian Embassy) told the police they would not interfere and would respect the law in the Philippines,” Gatchalian told the Philippine Star.

Gatchalian said the arrest of the suspect stemmed from the complaint of Catherine Scerri and Lily Flordelis, officials of the Bantay Tuluyan Foundation, a group advocating children’s protection.

They called local police for assistance on the alleged presence of a foreigner with three young male companions.

Operatives of the Biñan police immediately went to the Splash Island Resort where the suspect was found with three boys aged 12, 10 and nine.

Gatchalian said the boys reportedly came from Manila.

He said the Italian has been staying in a hotel in Eastwood City in Quezon City.

Investigators are now checking how the Italian diplomat met the children and who facilitated the meeting and the trip of the group to Laguna.

The Italian Embassy declined to comment on the arrest.

Police said the boys were placed under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Laguna.

(Cecille Suerte Felipe)