Catholic missionary in Mindanao missing, perhaps kidnapped
by Santosh Digal
ICC Note: The persecution of Christians in the Philippians is on the rise as Muslims extremists attempt to snuff out Christianity.
1/5/07 Philippians For Full Story go to (AsiaNews) It is feared that a Catholic missionary priest who went missing in the southern Philippines five days ago has been kidnapped. Fr Lucio Bola, 46 years, works at the Scalabrian Seminary in a village called Pardo in Talisay, Cebu . He went home to Mindanao for the Christmas holidays on 30 December, near Balingasag town, Misamis Oriental province. There has been no news of him since 31 December. A niece of his said that on that day, Fr Bola had said he was going to bless a house in Lagonglong. He went out at 3pm and never returned.
We are now looking into groups that could have possibly been stalking him,”said Misamis Oriental police chief, Superintendent Lyndel Desquitado. He would not identify the groups and said there was currently no proof that the priest had been kidnapped.
In the past, Christian priests in the southern Philippines have been kidnapped and even killed by Muslim extremists such as the Abu Sayyaf, an armed band with links to the Al-Qaeda terror network.
Meanwhile, the priest’s family has asked the mayor of Cagayan de Oro, Vicente Emano, for help. They visited the mayor on 3 January and told him how the priest’s brothers and sisters were murdered in separate incidents in 1982 and 1983.
The archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro is also searching for the missionary. A diocesan spokesman, Mgr Abacahin, said: We are doing everything possible to find him. He appealed to the people to collaborate.
He has also offered to negotiate with those who may have captured the priest: “I am pleading to the group that I am willing to go to whichever place they ask, no matter how far that is, just to get him back.