Ex-Basilan Mayor Is Source Of Bossi Photos

July 8, 2007 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BASILAN ISLAND (Mindanao Examiner / 08 Jul) – A former town mayor in the southern Philippine island of Basilan was said to be the source of three photographs of a kidnapped Italian Catholic priest that surfaced this week.

Philippine military and police said rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front headed by Akiddin Abdusallam are believed holding the 57-year old priest Giancarlo Bossi, who was kidnapped June 10 in Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Military sources said the former town mayor was the source of the photos, which were sent through cell phone to Spanish priest Angel Calvo, Bossi’s friend, in Zamboanga City. 

It was unknown how the former mayor was able to get the photos.

Philippine authorities were investigating the authenticity of the photos, all showing Bossi sitting on a boulder surrounded by young trees. One photograph showed Bossi holding a transistor radio.

It was unknown when the photos were taken, but his group, the Rome-based Pontificio Instituto Missioni Estere (PIME) confirmed the photos.

“There are now pictures of the captivity of Father Giancarlo Bossi,” said a PIME blog dedicated to Bossi.

“Taken in an undisclosed place where there are trees of a young forest. He is wearing the same clothes he wore on the day of his kidnapping. The cinelas (slippers) are red and new.”

“There is (a pair of) rubber shoes too left on the ground. Containers of water suggest that they are hiking up in some higher places, may be mountains, where the air is much thin and cooler.

Other things are inside these pictures, but we do not care! We will never put them in this Blog. They make us sad. We like other pictures; those of the day of his liberation!” it said.

PIME said it has no contact with the kidnappers.

The MILF, which is monitoring the situation, said Bossi’s captors were demanding “tens of millions” of pesos in ransom.

Bossi is the third Italian priest kidnapped in the past year in the southern Philippines.

Rogue MILF rebels kidnapped Father Luciano Benedetti, 52, in Zamboanga del Norte province in 1998 and held for nearly 10 weeks until he was freed in exchange for a huge government ransom.

In 2001, renegade MILF rebels and members of the bandit group called Pentagon Gang also snatched Father Giuseppe Pierantoni as the 44-year-old from Bologna said mass in the parish church of Dimataling town in Zamboanga del Sur.

The priest was freed after six months in captivity in exchange for an unspecified ransom, but he claimed to have escaped from his kidnappers. (Mindanao Examiner)

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