01/27/2010, 00.00
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Fr. Sinnot returns to mission Minadano where he was kidnapped

From January 25 Fr. Sinnott is back in Pagadian the place where he was kidnapped on 11 October. The volunteers and children with disabilities of the charity directed by him until the day of the kidnapping there to welcome him. He says that the episode will not prevent him in any way to continue his charitable work.

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two months after his release Fr. Michael Sinnott returns to Pagadian (Zamboanga, Mindanao), where he was kidnapped on 10 October, to continue his work as a missionary. January 25, volunteers and children of Hangop Kabataan Foundation, a Charity for disabled children founded and directed by the same Fr. Sinnott 1998 were there to welcome him. The St. Columban missionary landed in Manila on 15 January after two months of rest in Ireland even though his return to mission in Mindanao was uncertain.

"My family wanted to convince me to retire - says the priest - but my life is here in Pagadian, with the children that I have taken care of until the day of my abduction." Fr. Sinnott added that the incident he suffered will not prevent him continuing his charity work in any way.

October 11, Fr. Sinnott was kidnapped by a commando of six armed men was released on 12 November after 31 days of captivity. To flee the Philippine army the kidnappers forced the missionary, old and sick, to wander for a month in the jungle province of Lanao del Norte, located 150 km from Zamboanga. His release took place thanks to the joint effort of police, army and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation (MILF). Despite the million dollars requested by the kidnappers no ransom was paid for his release. During the kidnapping Christians and Muslims in Zamboanga held numerous prayer vigils to ask the kidnappers to free him.

In recent years, 13 foreign missionaries have been kidnapped or killed in the country. Fr. Sinnott is the third priest of Irish descent to suffer kidnap. In 1997 Fr. Des Hartford was kidnapped by a group of Islamic rebels and freed after 12 days of captivity. A few years later in 2001 another missionary, Fr Hally Rufus from Waterford was killed during an attempted kidnapping. In 2007 Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, PIME was kidnapped in Zamboanga and freed after 39 days of captivity. This thanks to the cooperation of the MILF who mediated with the kidnappers.
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See also
Church and government will not yield to the kidnappers' ransom demand for F. Sinnott
Fr. Bossi, “hypothesis” of new channels linked to civil society
PIME missionary Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, former kidnapping victim in Philippines, has died
Kidnapped priest back in Philippines
Joy for the release of Fr Sinnott


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