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Philippines    BISHOP TAKES LEAVE AS MILITARY FAILS TO MEET RESCUE DEADLINE
Bishop Romulo de la Cruz of the Philippine diocese of Isabela has taken leave amid rumors that the Abu Sayyaf extremist rebels who threatened to behead him have arrived on their southern Philippine island.
    Fr Martin Jumoad, chancellor of the prelature on Basilan Island, told UCA News that the bishop agreed to leave after his clergy advised that "maybe it's good that he takes his vacation at this time."
    The government has provided military security for Bishop de la Cruz since the beheading threat was aired over radio before the military operation to rescue Abu Sayyaf hostages on nearby Jolo Island was launched on 16 September. But Fr Jumoad said the bishop did not want to go around the prelature with bodyguards.
   
UCAN
   
29 Sep 00



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