La Stampa (Italy) has the headline today:
Dalle Filippine all'Italia: "Liberate padre Bossi"
The picture is obviously from happier times in Father Giancarlo Bossi's sojourn in the Philippines, since his present surroundings in the hands of terrorist kidnappers are bound to be less hospitable, considering they are asking half a million pesos for "proof of life" [sic!].
ABSCBN News reports that a few hours ago the following text message was received from the Italian priest:
“Ricevuto tuo messagio fai il possible per la mai ciberazione. Ultino messagio dicono non ristondere (I received your message. Do everything possible for my release. This will be my last message, don’t reply),”Hmmm...this sounds more like it comes from those holding him hostage trying to get their ransom money before the Human Security Act comes into effect July 15 and they could face some serious jail time, as in, forty years.
POPE BENEDICT XVI weighs in: "My thoughts go every day to Father (Giancarlo) Bossi," the pope told reporters, "We hope and pray that the Lord will help us," the pontiff added.
CIVILIZATIONS OF LOVE has posted the cellphone picture of Father Bossi in captivity said to have been sent to his best friend, a Claretian priest, Angel Calvo.
PIMEPHILIPPINES is a blog dedicated to Father Bossi run by friends and paisanos. Here the missionaries say:
Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, PIME, was kidnapped last June 10, 2007 in the Parish of Payao, Prelature of IPIL and Province of Zamboanga Sibugay. As of today June 21, 2007 no communication from the captors of anyone who can verify his conditions. As far as we know the captors and their masterminds have not yet been clearly identified, however the evidence points to a well-organized group who could make use of a pump boat, they were fully armed and well equipped and the capture of Fr. Giancarlo was carefully planned.Who indeed?
Who are these Captors and Masterminds? Who is behind this drama? Why don’t they declare their purpose? Why are they playing with the life of a person and religious leader serving the people in a remote area? Are they threatening everybody, even the whole Nation and the International Community? They must have a purpose. Some people must know about this plan.
The PIME Missionaries in the Philippine
Meantime, I leave you with newly elected Congressman Neri Colmenares, human rights lawyer and peace activist with his proposed solution to incidents like this: SOLVE THE ROOT CAUSES OF TERRORISM FIRST!
See, Colmenares is worried that the authorities won't want to negotiate with terrorists, or with his pals in the CPP NPA, who also do this sort of thing, even more often than the Abu Sayyaf, except they are working for a Workers Paradise, not the Jihadists Paradise, when they engage in organized extortion and kidnapping for ransom. (Of course, the NPA tend to go after policemen sleeping in some deserted outpost, or farmers chafing under their demands for "revolutionary taxes" or recalcitrant school supervisors in far-flung places.) I think it is really twisted for Rep. Colmenares, who is going to the legislature, to claim that the Anti-terrorism law will "endanger the peace process". It seems pretty obvious to most Filipinos that what endangers the peace process is terrorism itself, and those who defend the right of insurgents and rebels to bedevil and threaten the rest of us.
Even before the Human Security Act of 2007 can be brought into effect, already the Left and Liberal Establishments have been throwing brickbats at it. But I think the case of Father Bossi proves concretely that the intelligence and surveillance features of the new law could be very useful in these cases.
Who really speaks for the victims of terrorism? And who defends the rights of their tormentors? Where should we stand as human beings?
Perhaps, the good missionaries are right, and there is a divine purpose to the cross that Father Bossi must now bear, and all his friends and family in the Philippines and Italy. Perhaps it will help bring greater clarity to those people whose sight is beclouded by propaganda and ideology.