The Vicar General of the Diocese of Pagadian in the Philippines, Father Gilbert Hingone, reported this week that although there has not been any direct contact with the kidnappers of Father Michael Sinnot, he is hopeful for his release thanks to the work being done by the civil-military committee to free the missionary.
Speaking with Fides news agency, Father Hingone said the committee “is working well, thanks to intelligence work. We are hopeful. There are positive developments in this case - small steps - although there is still no direct contact with the kidnappers.”
Fr. Sinnott,78, was taken at gunpoint by six men who stormed his home in Pagadian City on the island of Mindanao on Oct. 11. According to Reuters, witnesses said the Colombian priest was bundled into a van and later dragged to a boat.
The priest is known to have a heart condition and needs a daily dosage of medicine.
Father Hingone also explained that the people are being asked to collaborate “in order to send him the medication he needs. We hope that this case will end well soon.”
According to the latest intelligence reports, Father Sinnot should be in the northern province of Lanao. General Benjamin Dolorfino, the commander in Western Mindanao, said the kidnappers are a group of pirates led by Guingona Samal, who is known for various crimes and kidnappings for extortion.
The Bishop of Pagadian, Most Rev. Emmanuel Cabajar called on the faithful there to pray and cooperate as much as possible with officials.