Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, PIME, parish priest of St. Paul the Apostle in Payao, was abducted by undetermined number of armed men along the road in Sitio Talutob, Barangay Silal” in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay,” police reports reaching the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said.
The report noted that a team led by P01 Joenery Vojas proceeded to the crime site. The team reported the priest left the poblacion on his motorcycle, bound for Barangay Bulawan to celebrate mass. Upon reaching a hilly portion of the road, the priest was stopped by armed men, the report said.
The government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panels are both on the alert following reports linking the MILF to the kidnapping.
Brig. Gen. Edgardo Gurrea, chair of the government peace panel’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Brig. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, chair of the government peace panel’s Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) have linked up with their counterparts in the MILF, Von Al Haq and Atty. Abdul Dataya, respectively.
“We are now closely coordinating with the MILF CCCH and AHJAG,” Gurrea told MindaNews through mobile phone.
Fr. Bossi has been serving the Prelature of Ipil since 1981, Kidapawan City-based Fr. Peter Geremiah, who also belongs to the PIME, told MindaNews.
Six years ago, on October 17, 2001, Italian priest Giuseppe ‘‘Beppe’’ Pierantoni of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was seized in Dimataling town, in Zamboanga del Sur province. He was freed six months later, on April 8, 2002 in the coastal town of Tungawan, in adjacent Zamboanga Sibugay province.