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    » 07/03/2007, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES

    MILF stage “strategic” retreat but search for Fr Bossi goes on



    A brother priest of Fr Bossi in Zamboanga, the retreat of the Islamic separatists from operations is for “exclusively political” reasons and perhaps “non Islamic”.

    Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – The guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are conducting a “strategic retreat”, giving up their search for Fr Giancarlo Bossi “for political reasons, certainly not because of anything to do with the kidnapping”. AsiaNews heard this from a brother priest of the missionary, Fr Luciano Benedetti, who has followed developments in the kidnapping of Fr Bossi from the start. Fr Bossi, a priest of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions, was kidnapped on 10 June in Payao in the southern province of Mindanao.

    Announcement of the withdrawal, made today by a spokesman for the separatist group, sparked speculation in Italy and in the Philippines that the MILF retreat spelled an end to hopes in the search for Fr Bossi. In reality, said Fr Benedetti, “this retreat has nothing to do with Fr Giancarlo. Rather, it is very likely that the MILF wanted to give way to the Filipino army and navy, which now feel more prepared to manage the matter of the kidnapping.”

    The move to retreat is also a “denominational sign: the departure from the scene of Islamic separatists makes one think that the kidnappers of Fr Bossi are not Muslim militants, but rather common bandits in search of money. Another thing that must be considered is that shortly a new anti-terrorism law will be enforced in the country and thus the guerrillas want to avoid direct contact with the army.”

    Meanwhile, “there is no real news: searches are continuing in different areas of the province, with special attention focused on Zamboanga Sibugay. In any case, as happened in the kidnapping of Fr Pierantoni [a Dehonian missionary kidnapped in the same province in 2001 and kept hostage for six months], we must prepare ourselves and wait for word from the kidnappers, which may take a long time.”

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    See also

    31/07/2007 PHILIPPINES - ITALY
    Fr. Zanchi: the kidnapping of Fr. Giancarlo has caused many to discover what a missionary is
    His experience shows how God knows how to reap good from evil, he gathered many people of different faiths and nations together in prayer, causing many to discover what a missionary really is: “not a hero, nor a fanatic, but a man who has accepted the call of the Lord: “Now go, I am sending you…” He is a man who knows the greatness and the difficulties that he will encounter in fulfilling his mission: hostility, rejection, persecution, martyrdom. However, he also knows that it is God who entrusts this mission to him and that, no matter what, God will always be with him”.

    23/09/2012 ITALY - PHILIPPINES
    PIME missionary Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, former kidnapping victim in Philippines, has died
    He was 62 years old. From 10 June to 19 July 2007 he was seized by a group of Muslim guerrillas an offshoot from the MILF. He lived as a missionary in the Philippines for about 32 years. His testimony in front of 300 thousand young people in Loreto. His meeting with Benedict XVI.

    30/07/2007 ITALY - PHILIPPINES
    PIME gives “thanks” on its anniversary for Fr. Bossi’s release
    The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions marks 157 years since its foundation and celebrates the release of Fr Bossi. In the Philippines Christians and Muslims that his abduction may become an “opportunity for a new path to peace”. At 20.30 mass in the Mother House in Rome

    02/07/2007 PHILIPPINES – ITALY
    PIME press release about Fr Giancarlo Bossi
    PIME thanks all those who are praying and working on behalf of the abducted missionary and requests that no one use the event for their own ends.

    15/06/2007 ITALY – PHILIPPINES
    Silent torchlight procession and candle-lit windows for Fr Bossi’s release
    These are some of the initiatives discussed at Lombardy’s Regional Government House. Searches for the abducted missionary are still underway. Fr Giancarlo’s brother says he is confident about his fate.



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