Priest, another hostage rescued in Marawi
Father Teresito "Chito" Soganub who was taken hostage by the Islamic State-inspired Maute terror group, along with another hostage, was rescued near a mosque in Marawi City on Saturday, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said on Sunday.
In his Facebook post, Dureza said Soganub and still unidentified indivudual were rescued near Bato Mosque at around 11pm.
But the Armed Forces of the Philippines was yet to confirm the rescue of the priest, who was taken by the militants when they launched the attack in Marawi on May 23.
"We are still validating that information. As of now, we cannot still give details. The rescue operation is still ongoing," said Colonel Edgard Arevalo, AFP public information office chief.
The government troops retook Bato Mosque and Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation (JIMF) on Saturday at around 5pm after a five-hour fierce firefight.
“This enormous AFP gain further weakened the terrorist Group by denying them their erstwhile command and control hub,” said AFP chief of staff General Eduardo Ano.
“As follow up and clearing operations continue, we expect the enemy to yield more previously occupied positions, but not without a fight. We are ready for that," he said.
“The AFP will press on relentlessly until conclusion," he added.
Ano urged the remaining terrorists, "especially former hostages turned fighters, to endeavor to communicate with the military surrender while they still have time.” Celerina Monte/DMS