The suspect was tagged as one of the gunmen who kidnapped the Italian missionary almost 11 years ago in Payao town in Zamboanga Sibugay.
File photo
Guerilla implicated in 2007 abduction of Italian priest nabbed
John Unson ( - May 3, 2018 - 4:38pm

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines — Authorities are now in custody of a Moro guerilla implicated in the abduction of Italian missionary Giancarlo Bossi in Zamboanga Sibugay in 2007.

Latif Rajahmuda Cototan, a Maranao, was cornered on Thursday in Picong town in Lanao del Sur by combined intelligence agents of the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion and the Lanao del Sur provincial police.

Cototan, who started as member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front but got booted in 2005 for infractions of the MILF’s revolutionary norms, was tagged as one of the gunmen who kidnapped Bossi almost 11 years ago in Payao town in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Bossi, who died from lung cancer in Italy in 2012, belonged to the Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estore, most known in Mindanao as the PIME congregation.

He was released by his captors 10 days after he was snatched following a series of deadly clashes with pursuing Army and police personnel that resulted in the deaths of more than 10 of them.

Reports reaching the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, which has jurisdiction over 6th IB, indicated that vigilant villagers help military and police agents locate Cototan in Lanao del Sur.

Bossi returned to Italy, where the pontifical base of the PIME is located, a month after his kidnappers set him free.

He was known in Zamboanga del Sur for his missionary works and his having organized trading cooperatives in farming and fishing communities, generating livelihood for marginalized stakeholders. 

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