AFP still verifying alleged rescue of Fr. Suganob

17 Septembre, 2017, 16:36 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Smoke bellows from buildings in Marawi City's central district following aerial attacks from government forces. Jonathan Cellona ABS-CBN News

The Bato Ali Mosque is the third worship site in Marawi City that combined police and military contingents have reclaimed from Maute gunmen since early September.

He also asked Duterte to stop military air and ground assaults and for security forces to quickly leave Marawi and Lanao del Sur, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

Father Soganub had been held captive since militants attacked his Saint Mary's Parish during the siege of Marawi on May 23.

The priest had appeared in a video released by the militants pleading for his life and asking the military to cease their aerial bombardments.

Several hostages were reportedly last seen there, according to Galvez.

Accounts from hostages who either escaped or were rescued said the militants had forced them to convert to Islam, carry wounded fighters to mosques, and the women to marry militants.

Father Teresito Soganub, whose common nickname is Chito, but pictured here with a "Sito" name tag, is among the hostages held by local terrorists in Marawi City since May 23.

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Father Soganub is expected to be taken to meet president Rodrigo Duterte after receiving medical treatment. "And in the course of fleeing, they were identified by the military and they were brought to a safer place" Medina said in the Inquirer report.

THE Maute group, blamed by security authorities for the siege in Marawi City since May, has started enlisting compulsorily civilians in an effort to increase their dwindling numbers in the provincial capital, Task Force Ranao Deputy Commander Col. Romeo Brawner has said. "They wanted to surrender", Brawner said, adding that the surrenderers would be accorded due legal process. "That's our arrangement", he said.

In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) chief Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo, said they can not still provide any details in order not to jeopardize the lives of the soldiers and other hostages there.

"As follow-up and clearing operations continue, we expect the enemy to yield more previously occupied positions, but not without a fight", he said.

Philippine military officers have been saying for weeks they expected to regain control of the city within days but the militants have proven far better armed and trained than first thought.

A large part of Marawi has been destroyed in the fighting.

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