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Hope's up priest held by Maute still alive.

Catholic church leaders in Mindanao said they received reports indicating that Fr. Teresito Suganob was alive, more than two months after he was taken by members of the Maute terror group from the Catholic church compound here on May 23.

Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Pena told the Inquirer on Friday that he was informed that Suganob, his vicar general, had survived amid the intense battle between his captors and government troops.

He said a source from the military, whom he did not name, relayed the news about Suganob's condition.

'A civilian hostage who managed to escape last week also informed one of our members that he saw Fr. Chito inside [the battle zone],' Dela Pena said.

The prelate said they continued to pray for Suganob's safety and eventual freedom.

Sister Ma. Luz Mallo, executive secretary of the Sisters Association in Mindanao, said her group also received similar information.

She said she learned Suganob had lost a lot of weight 'because of shortage of food as well his horrible experience.'

'Hopefully, his captors will release him,' Mallo said.

A few days after Suganob and dozens of church workers, teachers and civilians were taken hostage, Abdullah Maute, a leader of the terror group that laid siege on Marawi, offered to free the priest in exchange for the release of his parents, Cayamora and Farhana, who were arrested in separate instances in June.

The government, however, rejected Maute's trade offer.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jul 29, 2017
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