A former Italian missionary priest who lived in the Philippines and was abducted by the Islamic terrorist group Abu Sayyaf has been released.
Christian Today reports that Rolando del Torchio had worked with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions from 1984 till 2001 when he left the organization and opened a pizzeria in Mindanao.
Del Torchio often risked his life defending the rights of the local people he served when he was part of the mission organization.
He was abducted from his restaurant, Ur Choice Café, in October 2015. After being released, Del Torchio was taken to a military hospital in Zamboanga, but today (April 11) he was flown to Manila since his condition was reportedly worsening.
“We are very happy for the release of Rolando del Torchio. We hope that he will get better soon, because we were told that he was not doing well,” stated Father Giovanni Re, regional superior for the missionary organization.
"I know about other people who have been in the hands of kidnappers for more than two years. Del Torchio was held 'only' for six months. I think that the Italian Embassy and Foreign Ministry did a good job through their contacts with local intelligence,” Re continued.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: April 11, 2016