KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 26 August) — Bishop Colin Bagaforo of the Diocese of Kidapawan has asked the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) holding Police Officer 1 Bristol Catalan to release him immediately.
Bagaforo, who was approached by Catalan’s family for help, said he has tasked three of the priests under his diocese to negotiate for Catalan’s freedom.
“Our priests have already connected to the NPA/CPP/NDF in North Cotabato who’s holding Catalan right now. We’re now waiting for results. We hope it’s positive,” he said.
Catalan, assigned in neighboring Makilala town in North Cotabato, was seized by at least six NPA members on board two motorcycles on August 14 and reportedly brought him to the hinterlands of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.
Bagaforo assured Catalan’s family that the Diocese will exert all means possible to “grant the desires of their hearts.”
He also asked the NPA to respect Catalan’s right to life and assure that he be protected from torture or any form of harm. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)