ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY (Mindanao Examiner / 26 Jun) – The Philippine military on Tuesday said three government emissaries were sent to negotiate with gunmen holding an Italian missionary Giancarlo Bossi in the troubled southern region of Mindanao.
Marine Major General Ben Dolorfino, chairman of the government’s ad hoc joint action group, said the government wants a proof of life before it could start negotiating with the kidnappers. "They were sent to there to produce proof of life," he said.
Bossi was kidnapped on June 10 after celebrating mass in the village of Bulawan in Payao town in Zamboanga Sibugay province.
Police tagged rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) headed by Akiddin Abdusallam as behind the kidnapping of the 57-year old priest from Milan.
The MILF, which is currently negotiating peace with Manila, is also helping authorities track down the kidnappers. MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said the gunmen allegedly demanded “tens of millions of pesos” in exchange for Bossi’s freedom. (With a report from Juley Reyes)