Church and government will not yield to the kidnappers' ransom demand for F. Sinnott
by Santosh Digal
$ 2 million demanded. The priest is shown smiling in a video shot on 22 October.

Manila (AsiaNews) - "The Philippine Government and the Church will not pay any ransom for the release of Fr Sinnott, but the efforts of army and local police to free the missionary will continue. " This is the statement Cerge Remonde, spokesman for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

On 31 October, the kidnappers released a video where Fr Sinnott is holding a newspaper dated 22 October (Photo). In the video the missionary, declares that "the kidnappers are led by Abu Jayadeva" and that they "want a ransom of 2 million dollars” for his release.

"We are living outdoors and in difficult conditions - says the missionary – I am still in good health even though I don’t have all my medicine with me." Fr. Sinnott is in the hands of kidnappers since last October 11. In July he underwent serious heart surgery for the implantation of four by passes.

Patrick O'Donoghue, head of the Missionary Society of St. Columban said: "Whoever has the opportunity to influence the kidnappers of Fr Sinnott must continue efforts to make them understand that the best way is to release Fr. Sinnott without delay”.

Meanwhile, soldiers, rebels of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), Church and local authorities are intensifying efforts in the province of Lanao del Norte to locate his place of detention.