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Missionary abducted in Mindanao ill, but “perhaps he can get medicines”


“Father Lovett, a fellow brother of the kidnapped priest said that knowing the area where the hostage is thought to be is an “extremely positive fact”. However, the clergyman’s health and his constant being moved around to avoid the military and police are cause for concern. Negotiations for his release are in the hands of local religious and political leaders. MILF spokesman denies his group is involved in the abduction.”

10/15/09 Philippines (AsiaNews) “We are heartened from knowing that Fr Sinnott is in the area of Lanao del Norte, where it is possible to get medicines and medical aid. This is an extremely positive fact,” said Fr Cyril Lovett, a Columban missionary and director of the Far East journal. He spoke to AsiaNews about the disappearance of Fr. Michale Sinnott, who was abducted last Sunday in Pagadian (Mindanao). Just yesterday, police said that he was spotted in the area of Lanao del Norte.

Concerns about the fate of the Irish priest remain high because of his age, 80, and especially his health: he has had four bypasses and needs constant medical care.

“From what priests involved in abductions in the past say, we know that these groups move constantly to avoid detection,” Fr Lovett said. “For Fr Sinnott this is further complication given his health conditions.”

According to Major General Ben Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command chief, Fr Sinnott’s kidnappers made a call to his colleagues at the Columban Society in Pagadian City, but he did not provide any details about the conversation, saying he was “not authorised to reveal the content.”

Fr Lovett is convinced that his fellow brother is in the hands of a “breakaway faction of the MILF”. For him, the statement by the group’s spokesman, Eid Kabalu, who denied any involvement in the abduction, is credible.

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