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    » 07/20/2007, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES – ITALY

    Fr. Bossi: “They treated me well and I prayed for them”

    Santos Digal

    Benedict XVI was informed of the release yesterday evening and expressed “the great joy of the entire Church”. Contradicting versions from the Philippine authorities regarding those responsible for the abduction.

    Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – “During the 39 days, I was constantly moved from place to place.  I prayed for my capturers every evening”; Fr Bossi revealed during a press conference organised in Zamboanga, immediately after his release from 39 days of captivity in the hands of a group of abductors.

    So far, the Philippine authorities have supplied contradicting versions of those responsible for the sequester. Western Mindanao police director Chief Superintendent Jaime Caringal maintains that the authors of the kidnapping were separatists from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); while a close adviser to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo suggested that Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic extremist group known to have ties with Al-Qaeda, might be responsible for the abduction.

    “I used to smoke a lot prior to the abduction – confessed the 57 year old PIME missionary – then  one day when I was climbing a mountain together with the abductors I felt very week, so I said to myself, if I want to survive I would not smoke anymore, and so I didn’t!”.  

    “Often – continued Fr. Bossi - my abductors used to tell that I had been captured for a ransom for the group that belongs to Abu Sayyaf group”. They also told him names of themselves but he could not remember them, but he could “register their faces”.

    According to Jaime Caringal, who personally followed the case and claims to have mediated with the abductors for the hostage release, Fr. Bossi was freed yesterday evening at 9 pm local time in the city of Karumatan, on the orders of MILF leader commander Khidi. The police chief excluded the payment of a ransom, but instead described negotiations for the release of Fr. Bossi as “frenetic”.

     “Fr. Bossi was released without any payment of any ransom. What the Church in the Philippines did was pray for a positive outcome”; reaffirmed Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) spokesman. Archbishop Romulo Valles of Zamboanga said the abduction of Fr. Bossi had been a matter of great concern, adding that his release had “overjoyed whole church”.

    Benedict XVI had followed the entire case with great trepidation and was immediately informed yesterday evening in Lorenzago, the Italian Alpine region where he is currently enjoying a period of rest, of the PIME missionary’s release.   “The Pope – said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi – prayed each and every day for the release of Fr. Giancarlo Bossi.  The news of his release brings great joy to the entire Church and also for the Holy Father.  Our prayers have been answered”.

     

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    See also

    23/06/2007 PHILIPPINES
    Fr. Bossi, “hypothesis” of new channels linked to civil society
    12 days on from his kidnap, in the absence of any credible information, the army and police request “help that goes beyond the military option”; idea to form a group of representatives from civil society who may act as mediators. The move – explain Pime leaders – will not exclude the joined army and Milf task forces, who continue their search aided by local people.

    17/07/2007 PHILIPPINES
    Fr. Benedetti: we are awaiting “positive developments” for Fr. Bossi
    Cautious optimism among the confreres of the missionary abducted in Payao: good news may arrive within the next two weeks, but the situation remains “delicate”.

    14/06/2007 PHILIPPINES
    The army blocks off an area in Mindanao, the Church prays for Fr. Bossi
    The Philippine regional superior of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions tells AsiaNews that the entire Payao community, from where the missionary was kidnapped is praying for his safe return. Searches continue, still no sign of the abductors. Calls are made not to exploit those who bring the Gospel. Benedict XVI assures “his constant prayer”.

    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.

    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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