An Australian man held hostage by militants in the southern Philippines for more than a year has appeared in a video as proof that he is alive.
Warren Richard Rodwell said on the video that he is being held in isolation. He said he understands there are negotiations for his release under way but added, 'I personally hold no hope at all for being released.'
He said he was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, a notorious al-Qaeda-linked group.
Philippine intelligence officials said on Wednesday they believe the video, which has been circulated on YouTube, is authentic.
Rodwell appeared thinner than in a previous video posted in January. He held a copy of a local newspaper dated December 15 and said the recording was made the following day.
Rodwell was abducted by six gunmen on December 5 last year in southern Zamboanga Sibugay province by several armed men who are believed to have fled in speedboats.
Bloodstains were found at the coastal home from which he was taken. A search of nearby islands failed to find any trace of him.
The kidnappers demanded an initial ransom of $US23,000 from his wife, with whom he runs a store in the seaside town of Ipil on Mindanao island.
According to police, Rodwell's wife said she had no way of raising the ransom.