Fr. Sinnott says slain suspect was not his kidnapper

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Fr. Michael Sinnott shares a light moment with Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias during a send-off party for him at the Malate Church in July 2012. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

MANILA, March 19, 2016— An Irish Catholic missionary held hostage in Mindanao in 2009 does not believe that the group leader of suspected Islamic militants killed by security forces was his kidnapper.

Waning Abdulsalam, who was linked to kidnappings of Sinnott and other foreigners in Southern Philippines, was killed after he resisted arrest by a joint military and police forces in Zamboanga Sibugay on March 13.

The suspect was also believed connected to the Abu Sayyaf, notorious for ransom kidnapping and beheading of hostages.

Sinnott, however, raised doubts that Abdulsalam was among those who abducted him.

“They say he belongs to Abu Sayyaf and if Abu Sayyaf had me then I don’t think I would be alive now,” Sinnott told The Irish Catholic, an influential and independent Catholic newspaper in Ireland.

“The name is not one of the names that the kidnappers gave me. He may be someone who kidnapped a lot of people, but I don’t think he kidnapped me,” he said.

The missionary spent the rest of his missionary work in Pagadian City for around 33 years until he was held captive for a month, from Oct. 11, 2009 until Nov. 12, 2009.

After 42 years of missionary work in the Philippines, he left the country in July 2012 to retire in Ireland.

The report further quoted the 85-year old priest saying he would not like his kidnappers to be killed.

“The two men who stayed with me for the last portion were very good to me. I never had much against them. We were living in very primitive conditions, but they did everything they could to make it as easy as possible and they never mistreated me,” he said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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