June 21, 2018

Gov't forces rescue abducted priest, professor from Marawi City

17 September 2017, 07:19 | Devin Moran

Screen capture of captive priest Fr. Chito Suganob in a May 2017 video apparently taken by the Maute Group in Marawi City

Fr Chito Suganob in video

Recently, Suganob and other hostages appeared in a video released by the terrorists in which they appealed to the government to stop their aerial bombings particularly in Marawi's central business district.

"Kaya hindi po kami pwedeng magbigay ng detalye [The reason why we can't give out details], because it might compromise it might jeopardize our rescue operations".

But Colonel Edgard Arevalo, the military's public affairs chief, said: "We are still validating that information".

In a phone interview with Rappler, Dureza said Soganub was rescued near Bato Mosque.

Military sources said Father Soganub had already been flown to Davao city, where he was set to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte.

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) - Hostaged Marawi priest Father Teresito "Chito" Soganub was rescued Saturday night, September 16, along with another hostage who is yet to be named. Photos showing him, a young man and a woman slumped against a wall had also circulated on the Internet.

It was unknown how many civilians and hostages were killed in military air strikes and artillery fire since the fighting began, but the military insisted over 670 militants had perished in the battle, although it provided little or no proof at all of the huge number of enemy casualties.

Security forces have engaged in ferocious street-to-street combat and launched airstrikes in their efforts to expel the fighters from Marawi, in a conflict that has raised fears that ISIS is looking to establish a South-east Asian base in the Philippines.

The Bato Mosque had served as a stronghold of the terrorists, who took advantage of the fact that government forces hesitate to attack religious institutions.

"Doon sa mga naunang mga reports na nakuha natin, some of the hostages, especially 'yung mga lalaki at 'yung mga able-bodied ay pinwersa ng Maute na makipaglaban na rin sa government forces", Col. Romeo Brawner, Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi, said this as he reported the recovery of the Bato Mosque. "We are ready for that".

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