Priest forced to collect gunpowder in captivity during Marawi siege
Fr. Teresito “Chito” Soganub on Friday admitted that he was forced to gather gunpowder to be used in improvised explosives in his 116-day captivity during last year’s Marawi City siege.
In a press briefing at the Arzobispado de Manila, the former hostage said he was forced to do so as he had no other choice.
“What they wanted us to do, I had to do it. I had no other choice because I was a hostage,” he said.
Soganub later clarified that he was made to gather gunpowder from firecrackers, like the piccolo, which his captives from the Maute terrorist group used to make improvised explosives.
“I helped gather ‘black powder’ because I had no choice,” he said, adding that he didn’t make the explosives himself.
Soganub was one of the guests at the press briefing of the Aid to the Church in Need Philippines’ launch of its campaign to help the Prelature of Marawi and the residents of the war-torn city.
The priest, a long-time priest of the prelature, admitted that it was very difficult to be constantly living under the threat of death every day as a hostage.
“There were air strikes, bullets … Every day I did not know if I was going to make it out alive. It was a test of faith for me and I prayed to the Lord not to leave me,” Soganub said.
He added that at some point, he observed that the hostages exhibited the Stockholm syndrome towards their captors.
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