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» 06/11/2007
PHILIPPINES
Philippine Bishops appeal for the release of Fr. Bossi, Milf deny all involvement
by Santosh Digal
The spokesperson for the Philippine Bishops Conference has implored kidnappers to free the Pime missionary abducted yesterday in Mindanao on his way to mass. A spokesperson for Islamic separatists condemns the act and promises the movement’s full collaboration with authorities.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – The Philippine bishops today launched an appeal for the release of Fr.   Giancarlo Bossi, a missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (Pime) kidnapped yesterday in the southern island chain of Mindanao as he was on his way to celebrate mass. At the same time, the principal suspects in the case, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Milf), have denied all involvement and have expressed their complete cooperation in investigations. 

Spokesperson for the Philippines Bishops Conference Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, said: “We implore the abductors: please, save the missionary.  We pray that he will be released as soon as possible, so he can return to lending his help to our people”. 

An appeal for his release was also made by the Pope: Benedict XVI, following the Angelus prayer recalled “the many mane people, among them Catholic priests, who are being held hostage for diverse reasons across the world” and he made “an urgent appeal” to the authors “of these disgraceful acts that they become aware of the hurt they cause and that they restore prisoners to the embrace of their families”. 

Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, yellow priest of Fr. Bossi and president of the Silsilah movement for interreligious dialogue, says he has been shocked by news of the kidnapping: “we are trying to come to grips with the situation, why it happened to one of the pioneers of the Pime mission on Mindanao Island”. President of Peace Advocates Zamboanga, Claretian priest Fr. Angel Calvo described Bossi as a “priest who loves to stay and work together with the poor farmers. He wants to immerse himself more with the people and the community”.  The same image was depicted by Fr. Jasulga, administrator of the apostolic prelature of Ipil, where the Pime missionary “had voluntarily returned, with great joy to work with the poor.  He had received no threats and was loved by the local people”. 

The police and Philippine Army have intensified their search for the missionary.  Police provincial director Senior Superintendent Francisco Cristobal said they have yet to receive any demands or condition from the kidnappers underlining that a veritable “man hunt” is currently underway.  Military forces have set up road checkpoints around the province.  Police identified one of the suspects as Waning Abdulsalam, brother of MILF leader Akiddin. On the other hand, the separatist’s movement denied its role in kidnapping, according to the spokesperson, “none of their soldiers are involved”. 

Eid Kabalu MILF spokesperson, explains: “We will not allow to ruin the gains we have in the peace process with the government.  We have already deployed forces on the lookout for the kidnappers of Fr. Bossi”. Kabalu condemned Bossi’s kidnapping as “un-Islamic”, adding that that Abdulsalam’s group has long ceased to obey the MILF command structure.  “That group is not MILF. We express our readiness to extend whatever assistance we can give to the Philippine authorities”.  

The leader of the kidnappers “was once an MNLF member, but when the organization had a peace agreement with Manila. That is why authorities concluded that we were involved, even though we have nothing to gain from kidnapping the priest”.

 


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See also
06/12/2007 PHILIPPINES
Mindanao, the search for Fr. Bossi continues
07/31/2007 PHILIPPINES - ITALY
Fr. Zanchi: the kidnapping of Fr. Giancarlo has caused many to discover what a missionary is
06/21/2007 PHILIPPINES
The search for Fr Bossi is halted, cooperation between MILF and the military dissolved
06/14/2007 PHILIPPINES
The army blocks off an area in Mindanao, the Church prays for Fr. Bossi
07/20/2007 PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Fr. Bossi: “They treated me well and I prayed for them”
by Santos Digal
ITALY - PHILIPPINES
PIME gives “thanks” on its anniversary for Fr. Bossi’s release
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Great celebrations in Payao for Father Bossi’s return
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Father Bossi to be in Loreto with the Pope and young people to talk about his missionary experience
PHILIPPINES - ITALY
P. Bossi: “I would like to meet the Pope”
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
A great truth about Fr Bossi remains hidden; he is a missionary who witnesses Christ
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Fr. Bossi: “I will return among my people”
ITALY - PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi: July 30 PIME celebrate a mass to give thanks
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
PIME thanks all those who contributed to the release of Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Fr. Bossi: “They treated me well and I prayed for them”
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi: “I am well, I want to return to bid farewell to my parishioners”
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi 39 days in the hands of kidnappers
PHILIPPINES
An Islamic missionary murdered and hacked to pieces in Basilan
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Benedetti: we are awaiting “positive developments” for Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Mediation for Father Bossi’s release continues
PHILIPPINES
A petition for the release of Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
PIME: free Fr Bossi and his captors too
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
Fr Zanchi: Fr Bossi continues his mission
PHILIPPINES
Mass for Father Bossi’s release celebrated in Zamboanga
VATICAN – PHILIPPINES
I think about Father Bossi every day, says Pope
PHILIPPINES
Doubts about Abu Sayyaf hand in abduction of Fr Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Search for Fr Bossi: between anticipation and hope
PHILIPPINES
No certainty about identity of Fr Bossi’s abductors as contact is awaited
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
First photos of Fr Bossi show he is alive
PHILIPPINES
Doing everything possible to free Fr Giancarlo Bossi, say Filipino bishops
PIME - PHILIPPINES
PIME: July 10, international day of prayer for Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
MILF stage “strategic” retreat but search for Fr Bossi goes on
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
PIME press release about Fr Giancarlo Bossi
PHILIPPINES
PIME fathers appeal for Fr. Bossi release
PHILIPPINES
Mindanao: non-stop prayers and continued hope for Father Bossi
PHILIPPINES
No contacts with kidnappers, search for Fr Bossi starts again in Payao
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi, “hypothesis” of new channels linked to civil society
PHILIPPINES
The search for Fr. Bossi restarts
PHILIPPINES
The search for Fr Bossi is halted, cooperation between MILF and the military dissolved
PHILIPPINES
PIME appeals for Father Bossi’s release
PHILIPPINES
Army announces Father Bossi sighted, PIME can’t confirm
PHILIPPINES
A blog to ask for the release of Fr. Giancarlo Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi, witness that the Kingdom belongs to the meek
PHILIPPINES
Mindanao: Father Bossi well according to first contacts
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
Silent torchlight procession and candle-lit windows for Fr Bossi’s release
PHILIPPINES
The army blocks off an area in Mindanao, the Church prays for Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Mindanao, the search for Fr. Bossi continues
VATICAN
Appeal of the Pope for those kidnapped throughout the world, including Catholic priests
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi, “gentle giant” of the mission in Mindanao
PHILIPPINES
Westerners abducted in southern Philippines (an overview)
PHILIPPINES
Father Bossi’s kidnappers probably MILF fighters
PHILIPPINES
PIME missionary, Fr Giancarlo Bossi, abducted in Mindanao

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