In new video, abducted Marawi priest asks to stop military offensives

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2017 03:55 PM

Fr. Chito Suganob

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday confirmed that the man in a video circulating online was a priest allegedly taken hostage last week by the Maute group.

The video posted online showed Fr. Chito Suganob appealing to the government to halt military offensives in Marawi City.

Catholic leaders earlier sought help from Muslim religious heads for Suganob’s release.

"I pray for the safety of all the hostages. I appeal to the consciences of the hostage takers not to harm the innocent as the Islamic faith teaches. I appeal to religious leaders of Islam to influence the hostage takers to release the hostages unharmed," Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo said in an interview with the Church-run Radio Veritas.

Suganob was abducted Wednesday, a day after Maute rebels launched attacks against government troops who were chasing terrorist Isnilon Hapilon. 

CBCP had said Suganob and other hostages were at the Cathedral of St. Mary's when they were abducted. 

Bishop Edwin dela Peña, Prelature of Marawi, had said terrorists broke into Suganob's house inside the Cathedral's compound and took with them the priest, the parish secretary, two working students, and at least 10 other parishioners.