A former Italian missionary has been kidnapped in Dipolog City from his pizza house business.
Dapitan Police Chief Divin Ceriales confirmed the kidnapping. He said he received an urgent call from Senior Inspector Romer Lim, the chief of the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office Intelligence Division, informing him that the former priest had been taken.
“I also received a call from Dipolog City Police Office informing me about it, and I immediately put the Dapitan City police force in full alert considering that Dapitan could be used as the kidnappers’ escape route,” Ceriales told Rappler.
Police have been places in various regions, on the lookout for Torchio and his kidnappers – many have been seen in Dipolog on the main boulevard and other coastal areas in the city.
Authorities say that Torchio was dragged into a waiting vehicle at Dipolog Boulevard near UrChoice.
Police fear that Torchio and his kidnappers have already escaped on pumpboats after reaching the nearby sea.
Rolando del Torchio was a former missionary to the Vatican’t Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
He was born in the Angera, Italy and ordained as a priest in 1984.
Torchio was assigned to the town of Sibuco, located in Zamboanga del Norte, in 1988 and stayed till 1996. He later moved to Dipolog and worked with an NGO organisation to assist farmers in the area. He later fell in love with Dipolog and opened the pizza parlour called UrChoice.
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