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PIME Missioners Call Kidnapping Of Father Bossi ‘Vicious Drama’

ICC Note: PIME spokesperson in the Philippines expresses frustration over false reports pertaining to Fr. Bossi’s kidnapping.

6/29/07 Philippines (UCAN) — Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) priests in the Philippines have called the saga of their kidnapped confrere, Father Giancarlo Bossi, a drama spun by “false reports.”

“By now we feel this is a vicious drama. The false reports are part of the drama,” PIME missioners said in a June 29 statement posted in a blog they created on Father Bossi’s kidnapping.

By that date, 19 days after Father Bossi was abducted, the kidnappers had yet to contact officials or declare their reason for holding the priest. Armed men seized the Italian priest on June 10 near his parish in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay province, more than 770 kilometers southeast of Manila .

Father Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME spokesman, told UCA News on June 29 that “fabricated” or “invented” reports “build up” this drama. Media reports the PIME priests have monitored “are not true,” he said…

The PIME missioners said reports that medicine had been provided for Father Bossi’s “hypertension” and that “he is well alive riding a horse” also are untrue. “When we tried to verify all these reports, we (came) to the conclusion that they are all false,” their statement says.

However, Father D’Ambra could not identify who is sending out the “false” information. “Those who make these stories” are only “deceiving” the people, his community’s statement warns…

As of June 29, there was “no proof of life,” “no identification of kidnappers,” “no confirmed sighting,” “no demand for ransom” and “no declaration of purpose for this sudden abduction,” the PIME statement says. “We are very worried about him (Father Bossi).”

PIME missioners believes Father Bossi’s captors are members of a “large armed group” who have connections with “various influential personalities and organizations,” the statement adds.

The missioners also expressed gratitude for “many statements of concern” they have been receiving and “sincere” people of various faiths who are joining them in prayer….

(Full story)