Catholic priest, teacher recovered from IS militants in Marawi City

Lester Mason
September 17, 2017

Earlier, Presidential adviser on peace process Jesus Dureza announced through a Facebook post the supposed safe rescue of Suganob and another hostage near Bato Mosque.

However, in a text message sent to the media around 10 am, Col. Edgar Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office Chief, said: "We are still validating that information".

In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the two rescued hostages are Catholic priest Fr. Teresito "Chito" Soganub, who released a video in May 2017 urging government forces to cease the aerial bombings in Marawi; and Lordvin Ocopio, a professor from Dansalan College - a Protestant college in Marawi City. "The rescue operation is still ongoing", Arevalo said. "We are asking your help to please give what your enemies are asking for", he said.

"Mr. President they do not ask for anything they only ask that you leave this place peacefully", Soganub said. Photos showing him, a young man and a woman slumped against a wall had also circulated on the Internet.

Suganob escaped on Saturday evening after government forces reclaimed the mosque where the priest was being held captive since May 23.

Suganob was recovered after military troops seized the mosque, the military said.

The military is expecting more firefights in Marawi as troops continue to push towards enemy defensive positions in the city besieged by terrorists since May.

President Rodrigo Duterte has deployed thousands of troops and imposed martial law across the southern third of the country to deal with the crisis, while the military has launched a US-backed air campaign against the militants. "We are ready for that".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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