MANILA — The family of an Italian ambassador detained in the Philippines on human trafficking and child abuse complaints has denied the accusations, calling the case ‘‘a big mistake.’’
The parents and brother of Daniele Bosio, Italy’s suspended ambassador to Turkmenistan, said Tuesday that Bosio has a long history of helping disadvantaged children and did not abuse the three underage boys found with him at a resort in Laguna province south of Manila.
Philippine police arrested the vacationing diplomat on April 5 after being alerted by child rights activists who saw him at the resort with the boys, ages 9 to 12.
A police statement said the diplomat told investigators during questioning that the boys ‘‘were street children that I had brought from Manila’’ and that they had informed their parents about the trip. The statement said the boys told police that the diplomat brought them to his house where he ‘‘personally bathed and scrubbed their naked bodies and afterwards gave them money and food.’’
The complaints were filed before a prosecutor, who will determine whether there is enough evidence for formal charges to be brought against the 46-year-old diplomat.
Bosio is to appear before the prosecutor Wednesday. His family and friends also plan to attend.