KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte – A Catholic priest who was held hostage by the Islamic State-inspired Maute group returned to this town on Friday and joined Muslims in celebrating the end of holy month of fasting.
Marawi Vicar General Teresito "Chito" Soganub said he bore no animosity towards Muslims despite enduring 117 days in captivity.
"We were all victims," Soganub said. The Marawi siege, which ran for 5 months, affected both Muslims and Christians, he said.
Soganub said he was advised by doctors against going back to Marawi for at least 5 years.
In the Eid'l Fitr celebrations here, Soganub gave fruits to a 90-year old matriarch of a prominent Muslim family town as a gesture of love and respect.
“There are people who use religion and it’s very alarming because it easily causes a spark. Because of that we find it useful that we will utilize people of various faiths to sit together and talk about the solution to our peoples’ problem," said Musa Sanguila, a peace advocate from the group Pakigdait Inc.