Pray for priest, other Maute hostages, CBCP urges public
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas urged Filipino Catholics to pray for the safety of those taken hostage, including a priest, by the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City.
According to Villegas, Fr. Chito Suganob and others were in the Cathedral of St. Mary’s when members of the Maute fighting group forced their way into the Cathedral, taking with them Suganob and others as hostages.
“They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled,” Villegas said in a statement.
Villegas said that Suganob, at time of his capture, was in the performance of his ministry as a priest.
“He was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none,” he said.
“His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilized conflict,” Villegas added.
“We beg every Filipino to pray fervently for Fr. Chito and for other hostages,” he added.
He appealed to the government forces to make the safety of the hostages a primordial consideration as they ensure that the law is upheld.
“We also call on the Maute group that claims to bear arms in the name of a Merciful and Benevolent God — the very same God we Christians worship and adore — to do the One God true honor by the mercy and benevolence that are two of our God’s most exalted attributes,” Villegas said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.