15 November 2009

Sinnott: I was freed early because captors wanted to watch Pacquiao

Without question, Manny Pacquiao is by far the most popular person in the Philippines. Today (Sunday, Philippine time) he became the first boxer in history to win a world championship at a seventh different weight division.

Yesterday GMA TV carried a story that suggests that Fr Michael Sinnott was released so that his captors could watch Pacquiao fight Miguel Cotto.

No, it wasn't because Hillary Clinton was coming. The sudden release of Micheal Sinnott was because of someone else: the world's top pound-for-pound boxer. The Irish priest said his captors decided to get him out of the jungles of Mindanao as early as possible because they wanted to catch Manny Pacquiao's fight with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto. "Your freedom is our freedom. We don't want to be here for a long time, too. And we want to watch Pacquiao's fight," Sinnott said on Saturday, quoting his kidnappers as saying.

The 79-year-old Sinnott also said that his abductors found it difficult to take care of an elderly priest, thus they decided to free him early.“With my age and condition, they really don’t want to hold me longer. I am old, and I had a hard time walking," said Sinnott, who was recuperating from an open-heart surgery the day he was abducted.Sinnott who was held by armed men in Pagadian City last October 11, was freed on Thursday after a month-long captivity. [See: Sinnott freed after a month in captivity]

Critics of the Arroyo administration surmised that Sinnott's release was timed for the November 12 arrival of US secretary of state Clinton. But the Palace dismissed the claim, saying it was just a coincidence. Sinnott’s release came four days before Pacquiao, the government’s emissary to the Mindanao peace process, is scheduled to fight with Cotto for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown in Las Vegas. [See: Weight battle over, Pacquiao, Cotto now brace for war] - ANDREO C. CALONZO, GMANews.TV

No comments: