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PIA Press Release
2009/10/13

Palace condemns Pagadian kidnapping

Manila (13 October) -- Malacanang has condemned the abduction of 78-year old Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott, a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Pagadian City.

Deputy Spokesperson Anthony Golez said the Palace "abhors that kind of crime against our people, especially against the clergy."

He added the abduction should not be tolerated and the perpetrators should be brought to justice.

Golez said Filipinos should now stand together and cooperate to rise above the effects of natural calamities that shook the country instead of abducting innocent people.

The government, Golez said, is appealing to the abductors for his safe and immediate release given his advance age and health condition. He noted, however, that government will stand on its no-ransom policy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been in touch with the Irish Government, through the Irish Embassy in Singapore. It is also working with various government agencies, as well as the Missionary Society of St. Columban, to exhaust all means to ensure the early and safe release of Fr. Sinnott.

The priest is a long-time missionary in the Philippines, who serves children with special needs.

Reports said that at least six armed men abducted Sinot from the Columban House in Gatas District in Pagadian City last Sunday.

Government authorities reported that assailants forcibly entered the Columban House and took the priest at gunpoint. They fled with Sinot on board a mini-van.

The abductors burned the mini-van when they reached Sta. Lucia Village, took a boat and sailed away with the victim. (PIA) [top]

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