Alpha Assistenza Victims Worry Over November 25 Prescription Period

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Recently, concerns of alleged victims of illegal recruitment involving Alpha Assistenza SRL have been the talk of discussions and some media reports. The worry revolves around the possibility of a ‘Defeat by Default,1 where complainants may lose even before the case is officially filed.

This relates to the feared Statute of Limitations in Italy2, giving complainants only 90 days to file a complaint, starting from the discovery of the fraudulent activity.

The origin of the reported November 25 as the prescriptive date, however, is unclear, but if based on the 90-day counting, it began on August 28.

On November 1, the Philippine Consulate General in Milan posted on Facebook about their ‘Pag-usapan Natin’ episode on August 253. According to the post, the said episode occurred four days after they initiated an investigation involving the first nine victims seeking help at the Consulate. Doing the math, this would be August 21, 2023, and the 90th day from this date will fall on November 19, not 25th.

Hence, the question arises: from whom did the November 25 prescription date originate?

According to the article by Jom Garner in the Daily Tribune on November 9, DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Eduardo de Vega, said that the Philippine government, throught DFA, has selected Atty. Bruno de Blasi to represent the victims against Alpha Assistenza SRL.

This decision came after victims claimed that the Philippine Consulate in Milan had informed them that their chosen lawyer would not be representing them in court. Consul General Elmer Cato allegedly informed the victims that lawyers were still being chosen for them.

This contradicts the initial information we previously gathered, suggesting that the victims themselves had chosen Biasi. This was based on a survey conducted on October 19, led by OFW Watch Italy.4

In the same article from Daily Tribune, De Vega clarified that the DFA had approved funding for legal assistance, and Atty. Bruno de Blasi was chosen to represent the victims.

He also corrected the (alleged) consulate’s claim that the prescriptive period for the case would lapse on November 25, stating that there is no short prescriptive period for such a crime under Italian law.

Walang prescriptive period na magla-lapse sa November 25. De Vega clarifies that the DFA has approved the funding for the legal assistance of the victims. In contrast to the consulate’s claim, he pointed out that the prescriprive period will not lapse on 25 November. That has been corrected. There is no prescriptive period for a crime that is that short. The prescriptive period will not lapse so soon under Italian law.

Usapang OFW November 9 Episode

Meanwhile, in the next episode of Usapang OFW on November 16, it was revealed that the victims learned about the prescriptive period from various Italian lawyers they consulted, not from the PCG.

No clarification has been published by the Daily Tribune on this matter, which is a crucial point considering the sensitivity of such reports to everyone directly involved.

Recently, a victim from Italy allegedly died due to severe stress caused by the scam. It is evident that every piece of information and perspective on the development of this case is crucial, especially for the victims of this widespread fraud.

Meanwhile, Quattro has information that the signing of the contract between the complainants and legal counsel Atty. Di Blassi has been conducted today. We will soon provide specific details about this matter.

  1. Usapang OFW Nov 9 Episode ↩︎
  2. Le Legge Per Tutti ↩︎
  3. PCG Facebook Post, Nov 1 2023 ↩︎
  4. Pahayag ng Alyansa Laban sa Panloloko at Hokus-Pokus ng ilang Ahensya (ALPHA) ↩︎

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