Marawi bishop dismayed over backlash on Fr. Chito

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2017 07:58 PM

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Soganub, vicar general of the prelature of Marawi, is presented to the media by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, 2 days after his rescue from the Maute group, in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday. Fr. Soganub was rescued with another civilian after government forces took over the Bato Mosque, 117 days after the siege erupted in Marawi. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Peña on Tuesday expressed disappointment over negative comments against Fr. Chito Soganub in social media. 

"Marami din ang galit kay Father Chito and I just wonder why. Marami sa social media ang para bang they don't trust him as if he's kind of 'dilawan' or something. I don't know, politics has entered into the picture here. We're talking about a humanitarian crisis, the experience of being hostaged for more than 100 days," he said.

"If we're hearing it from social media, don't trust that," he added.

Meanwhile, the bishop said that if there's any consolation to the Marawi crisis, it's the fact that Muslims and Christians were brought closer to each other, despite differences in faith.

"Whatever people say in the media against Muslims, that does not erase the fact that Muslims and Christians have been working together thru difficulties and we were much closer today than we were before the war," he said.

The bishop said he would like to bring the good perspective of the war in Marawi, of how Muslims protected Christians. 

"Some were killed just because they were Christians, so they protected them, allowed them safe passage," he said.

"Also, when the Muslims were able to find safe haven in Iligan, and some municipalities along the way towards Iligan, Christians also welcomed the IDPs [Internally Displaced Persons] with open arms and continued to support them," he added

Dela Peña said he was fortunate to have had the chance to tell the world of this story on his recent trip to Rome.