Posted by: JWP | 11/11/2009

Irish priest Sinnott freed

By Julie Alipala Inquirer Mindanao

First Posted 05:50:00 11/12/2009

ZAMBOANGA CITY – (UPDATE 2) Irish missionary Michael Sinnott has been freed by his kidnappers on Thursday morning, according to officials from the military, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Irish government.

Lieutenant General Ben Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief, said Moro Islamic Liberation Front members, who were tasked to help free Sinnot, turned over the priest to Ambassador Rafael Seguis, chairman of the government peace panel, and Major General Reynaldo Sealana, head of the government’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities.

“We got Fr. Sinnott!” Wesmincom spokesman Major Ramon David Hontiveros said in a text message. more

Priest released by kidnappers after 32-day ordeal Irish times 11/12/09

Elderly priest exposed to the elements during his 32-day ordeal

the following are excerpts from Irish Times report:

Authorities will ensure that Fr Sinnott has a full check-up, as he was most likely held in the open, which is relatively easy for his abductors who are used to the environment, but the heat, the mosquitoes and the exposure would have been hard on the health of an elderly man who had heart surgery four years ago.

Fr Sinnott’s release follows a tense week after the severed head of Gabriel Canizares, a Philippine school headmaster abducted in similar circumstances by the Abu Sayyaf group of Islamic militants, was dumped at a petrol station in the area.

Fr Sinnott is the third Irish priest to be kidnapped in the area. In 1997, Fr Des Hartford was held by Islamic militants for 12 days, and in 2001 a priest from Waterford, Fr Rufus Hally, was shot dead during an attempted abduction. read in full

Islamist rebels holding Irish priest open fire on troops

Sun Star Online By Bong Garcia 11/11/09

KIDNAPPERS holding captive an Irish priest have opened fire at government security forces while they are repositioning, as “containment operations” continue to prevent the transfer of the hostage to another place.

Major General Benjamin Mohammad Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief, said the incident took place Sunday when rotation of troops was effected.

“May nagpaputok three times pero hindi sinagot ng tropa (They fired three times but the troops did not fire back),” Dolorfino said.

Dolorfino, however, declined to reveal where the incident took place except in saying that in an area where containment operations are in place. more

Bishop calls for justice in beheading case

UCANews 11/11/09

MANILA (UCAN) — Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela in the violence-torn southern Philippines has called for justice for a school principal, beheaded by his kidnappers, and said a long-term solution to the region’s problems must be found.

The bishop ruled out negotiations with those responsible. “If we dialogue with them, then it is as if we are saying it’s partly okay to do what you did,” he said over Church-run Radio Veritas 846.

Criminals must be “arrested right away,” the Church leader insisted. “Here in Basilan and in Sulu, the justice system is not that clear but the rule of law must prevail.”

Gabriel Canizares, principal of Kanague Elementary School in Patikul, Sulu, south of Basilan, was kidnapped on Oct. 19. His severed head was found in a truck at a gas station in Jolo town on Nov. 9. Abu Sayyaf extremists are believed responsible.

“We condemn the act because this is inhuman,” Bishop Jumoad said. more


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