The Catholic priest rescued from the clutches of Islamic State-linked fighters in Marawi was forced to convert to the Muslim faith.
The claim was made on the GMA News show State of the Nation. According to the report, Father Chito Soganub told military officials that he had otherwise been treated well by the terrorists.
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong said that along with other hostages, the priest was made to take up weapons against government forces.
“He was forced to because that’s what the Maute, their captors, requested them to do that they be converted to Islam,” he told reporters.
He added that forced conversions were not recognised by Islam.
Father Suganub has thanked those who prayed for him and also his patron Saint Michael de Archangel for protecting him.
A statement posted on the Facebook page of the Prelature of Marawi, Bishop Edwin Dela Pena has laid out a plan for “healing and reintegrating” the hostages once released.
This includes a medical check-up and hospital confinement. This would be followed by a course of “trauma therapy”.
The trials of Father Chito Soganub
The priest is the vicar general of the Marawi prelature and acting rector of St Mary’s cathedral.
Father Suganob had been held hostage by members of the Maute terror group and other jihadis since the crisis erupted in Marawi City on May 23.
On Sunday, Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza said Suganob was rescued Saturday night in an area near Marawi City’s second biggest mosque in Bato District.
As of yesterday (Sunday, September 17), at least 47 civilians, 673 Maute members and 149 government troops have been killed in the ongoing firefight in Marawi.
Official sources have recently been making increasingly confident predictions that the last pockets of resistance will be mopped up soon.