Fr. Teresito Suganob made an appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte to stop military operations in Marawi. (Photo from a video circulating on Facebook)
ILOILO CITY—Relatives of a captive Catholic priest welcomed his reported rescue from the Maute Group members in Marawi City.
“We only heard of it from news reports and have not received confirmation from our relatives in (South Cotabato in Mindanao). But if this is true, we are happy and relieved,” Rufino Larroza, village chief of Maite Grande in Lambunao town in Iloilo, told the INQUIRER on Sunday.
Larroza is an uncle of Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob, vicar general of Marawi City, who was abducted on May 23 after the Maute group members barged into the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians. Several other church workers and worshipers were abducted.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza on Sunday morning announced on his Facebook page that Suganob and another hostage were rescued Saturday evening near the Bato Mosque.
There are no details on the circumstances of Suganob’s reported release.
Dureza said in his post to wait for official announcements from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Malacanang.
A reported of INQUIRER Mindanao Bureau quoted a Navy official who said Suganob escaped from his captors during fighting between the terror group members and government troops.
The bearded priest whose family hails from Iloilo was last seen in a video clip appealing for a stop to military operations against their captors.
The Catholic Bishops of the Conference of the Philippines had also appealed for the safe release of Suganob and other hostages.