Bishops tap ties with Ulama for Bossi’s release

Jaro archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, CBCP president, gave Margherita Boniver, member of the Italian Parliament, this assurance when the latter paid him a courtesy call on July 5 at the Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila, the CBCP website said.

The report said Lagdameo assured the Italian negotiator that the CBCP would help "in our own way" to resolve the kidnapping of 57-year old Bossi.

"I assured the Italian lawmaker that Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, a key figure in the Bishops-Ulama Forum is working with his Muslim counterparts to help resolve the abduction," the CBCP head said.

Bossi was kidnapped on June 10 while on his way to say mass in the town of Payao, in Ipil town Zamboanga, Sibugay province in Western Mindanao.

Nearly a month after his abduction the Armed Forces of the Philippines still could not ascertain if Bossi is still alive and who are his captors.

But National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales tagged the Abu Sayyaf as the group holding the Italian priest. He admitted there is "no quick fix to the problem."

The Bishops-Ulama Forum, set up in November 1996, is a forum of Catholic, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders in Mindanao who have been advocating inter-religious dialogue and is an influential force in the peace processes in Mindanao.