Hostaged Irish priest says captors released him early to watch Pacquiao fight

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao doesn't just obliterate traffic and crime when he fights, he can also set hostages free, at least according to Fr. Michael Sinnott, the Irish priest held hostage in Pagadian City, Mindanao, for a month.

"Your freedom is our freedom. We don't want to be here for a long time, [either]. And we want to watch Pacquiao's fight," Sinnott quoted his kidnappers, reports. Sinnott said his captors wanted him free as soon as possible.

Sinnott was abducted by armed men   on October 11 and released on November 12, just a few days before Pacquiao's fight versus Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao won by a technical knockout in the 12-round welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

The 79-year-old Irish priest, who was recovering from open-heart surgery the day he was abducted, said his kidnappers found it hard to take care of him.

On the other hand, critics of Malacañang Palace said Sinnott was released in time for the arrival of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Palace said it was just a coincidence and that no ransom was paid for the priest's release, despite a video of Sinnott that surfaced on October 31 saying that his captors were demanding $2 million in exchange for his freedom.

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