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Philippine Army rescues Fr. Chito! Terrorists are surrendering in Marawi City

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
9/18/2017 (5 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Government forces are winning in Marawi City.

The Philippine Army has rescued the beloved 'Fr. Chito' from the hands of ISIS-backed terrorist rebels in Marawi City. The priest has been held hostage since May 23.

Fr. Chito was rescued by the Army following a firefight with the rebels.

Fr. Chito was rescued by the Army following a firefight with the rebels.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
9/18/2017 (5 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Philippines, Fr. Chito, Marawi City, ISIS, hostage


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- The Philippine Army has rescued Fr. Teresito 'Chito' Soganub from the hands of ISIS terrorists. His rescue came on September 17 following a deadly firefight between the terrorists and soliders. The priest was found abandoned with another hostage, a professor from a local college that was stormed by rebels at the same time.

Rebels backed by ISIS captured Marawi City on May 23, and took a number of civilians hostage. Included among them were Fr. Chito and several other members of his church. Fr. Soganub was the vicar general of the city's Cathedral of Our Lady of Help.


Several other civilians were killed by militants, with several being bound and shot or beheaded. Thousands of the city's residents fled, leaving their homes and businesses to the rebels. The rebels then turned the ruins into makeshift fortifications.

The Army responded immediately and was given orders to recapture the city. The army used armored vehicles and airstrikes to destroy rebel strongholds.

On May 30, the terrorists released a video message from Fr. Chito asking for the military to stop bombing the city. The Army suspended a major attack, rather than risk the lives of Fr. Chito and hundreds of other civilian hostages.

Civilians who escaped rebel captivity reported being forced to convert to Islam. Women were forced to marry fighters. Others were forced to shuttle wounded fighters and supplies though the crossfire.

After nearly four months of relentless pressure, the rebels are collapsing. The government has offered to spare, and provide fair, humane treatment to fighters who surrender. Many fighters have sent text messages to government forces to accept the deal.

About 800 people have died in the fighting, mostly all terrorists. About 1,730 civilians have been rescued.

Fr. Chito and his fellow hostage were discovered abandoned following a fierce firefight. It is possible his rebel captors went to aid their fellows and were killed or driven off, leaving their hostages behind.

Fr. Chito is now in the capitol of Manila.

The rescue of Fr. Chito comes a week after the release of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil who was delivered from his terrorist captors in Yemen.

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