MANILA (UPDATE) Father Teresito "Chito" Soganub, a Catholic priest who was taken hostage by the Maute group during the Battle of Marawi in 2017, died early Wednesday, according to Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Peña.
Soganub died in his home in Noralah, South Cotabato due to cardiac arrest, Dela Peña said in a statement.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later, Dela Peña added.
Soganub, the vicar general of Marawi territorial prelature, was abducted by Maute terrorists along with other civilians while at the compound of the Cathedral of St. Mary at the start of the siege in May 2017.
The priest appeared in a video where he appealed to the government to halt military offensives in Marawi City.
It was reported that Soganub was converted to Islam while he was held hostage by the Maute group but Bishop Dela Peña dismissed the conversion, saying it was done "under duress."
The priest was rescued after state troops recovered the Bato mosque in Marawi in September, a month before government announced that the battle against the terrorists in the southern city finally ended.
The prelature of Marawi prepared a program to help Soganub recover from his trauma before he returned to his church duties.