Sep 132014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/06/07MANILA2099.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA2099
2007-06-22 07:27
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO2812
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2099 1730727
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 220727Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7099
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 0281
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 002099

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2017
TAGS: PTER PREL RP
SUBJECT: STATUS OF EFFORTS TO FREE ITALIAN PRIEST BOSSI

Classified By: Pol/C Scott Bellard, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (U) Following the June 10 abduction in Zamboanga del Sur
of Italian priest Father Giancarlo Bossi by ten armed men
possibly associated with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group, the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has worked closely with
the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to pinpoint his
location and to explore options to rescue him. The MILF has
“vehemently” denied any involvement in the capture of Father
Bossi. The MILF also pledged its full support for rescue
operations, stating that it is working with the AFP “to
ensure the early recovery of the kidnap victim.” There are
no indications that Father Bossi was abducted for religious
reasons, and it appears more likely to be a case of
kidnapping for ransom.

¶2. (SBU) Coordination between the AFP and MILF under the Ad
Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) nonetheless stalled with the
expiration on June 21 of its annual mandate. While both
sides had expected the renewal of the mandate, the
resignation on June 16 of Silvestre Afable as head of the
Philippine Government Peace Panel with the MILF has left some
confusion about who has authority to renew, especially given
conflicting signals about who his successor would be. With
the June 21 temporary appointment of Rudy Rodil — previously
Vice-Secretary of the government’s peace panel and a
professor at Mindanao State University — as
Officer-in-Charge of the panel for the time being, the
renewal may happen soon. However, other reports indicate
that Presidential Advisor for the Peace Process Jesus Dureza
may have to issue the formal statement on behalf of the
government. The MILF on June 21 nonetheless gave “special
authority” to its AHJAG component to continue joint rescue
operations with the AFP on “humanitarian grounds,” stressing
that “the life of man is of paramount importance over
procedural matter.”

¶3. (C) The Italian Embassy privately denied to poloff press
reports that Italian Ambassador Rubens Fedele was prepared to
negotiate on behalf of his government with the kidnappers and
might even be willing to pay the ransom demanded by Bossi’s
abductors. According to an Italian Embassy source, there is
no channel of communication with the kidnappers, nor any
formal ransom request. Fedele, who remains in Mindanao, has
publicly declared that responsibility for dealing with the
kidnappers rested with the Philippine government, not the
Italian government.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm
KENNEY

   

 

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