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CBCP Assures Italian MP help in Bossi cause

MANILA, July 5,2007—Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo said he assured Member of Italian Parliament Margherita Boniver the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines would help “in our own way” to resolve the kidnapping of 57-year old Missionary Giancarlo Bossi.

The Jaro Archbishop and CBCP President said MP Boniver paid him a call at the Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila Thursday afternoon.

The lawmaker said she will also call on other officials to be appraised of the situation surrounding the Bossi’s disappearance.

Speaking to reporters earlier today, Archbishop Lagdameo said the Italian MP is in town to do “research” on the abduction which happened June 10 in the town of Payao, Prelature of Ipil in Zamboanga, Sibugay province.

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

The first Italian missionary held hostage by Muslim insurgents, 63-year old Fr. Lucianno Benedetti, PIME, said he appreciates the Italian government’s efforts to find out what’s happening in the southern Philippines.

Benedetti, now assigned with the Diocese of San Jose de Antique in Central Philippines but has been in Zamboanga City for the past few days said “the Italian government has taken the Bossi kidnapping seriously.”

Fr. Benedetti said they are expecting MP Boniver in Zamboanga over the weekend.

“The political opposition in Italy had a well-attended demonstration yesterday and said the administration has not done enough to help Fr. Giancarlo Bossi,” Benedetti said.

Asked if they at the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME) appreciates the gesture of MP Boniver, Benedetti said “we do express our thanks.” (Melo M. Acuña)