In a statement, the Cotabato City-based Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) said Bossi’s abduction, whether by an individual, group, or organization, “is evil and is inspired by Satan, and therefore, should be met with vehement condemnation.
Sammy Maulana, acting secretary-general of the CBCS human rights desk, stressed that abductions, illegal arrests, detentions, and extra-judicial killings are not issues of whether such are the evil-doing of a Muslim, a Christian or someone from any religious denomination for that matter
“Actions like that are barbaric, not tolerable and even condemnable under democratic and civilized societies,” he explained.
The group, along with its over 150-strong network-member organizations in Mindanao, join the relatives, congregation, friends of Fr. Bossi, and the people of Payao in Zamboanga Sibugay province in their call for the immediate release and safe return of Fr. Bossi and the prompt apprehension of those responsible for his abduction.
“People remember him to be a warm-hearted priest and so dedicated in working for the social and spiritual upliftment of the rural folks in the area. He is very much loved by the people because of his character and simple lifestyle,” Maulana said.
A week after the military conducted pursuits against Bossi’s captors, they arrested five persons they suspected as behind the abduction. But the MILF has tagged a different group whom it claimed as the “real abductors.”
“This has caused a confusion of sorts, thus, we urge authorities to conduct further investigation so people would know the real culprits,” the group’s statement said.
“While appreciating AFP efforts to free Fr. Bossi from his captors, the CBCS is also cautioning the AFP to be more professional in carrying out their mission, and not to commit acts that are beyond the rules of the law, and to avoid at all costs the perpetration of human rights violations against those who are innocent,” it said.
Thus, the group urged the military to release the five individuals they arrested for they might have been mistakenly identified as the abductors.
Authorities tagged the MILF led by a certain Akiddin Abdusallam as behind the kidnapping, a claim refuted by the MILF.
The MILF earlier gave Bossi's abductors an ultimatum to free the priest unharmed or face assault. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)