- Title: Philippine bishop says priest held hostage by Islamists told him rebels' demands
- Date: 29th May 2017
- Summary: MARAWI CITY, PHILIPPINES (MAY 27, 2017) (REUTERS) BISHOP EDWIN DELA PENA BROWSING THROUGH ONLINE ARTICLES ABOUT PRIEST TERESITO SOGANUB ON SMARTPHONE DELA PENA SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) BISHOP, EDWIN DELA PENA, SAYING: "The only conversation I had with Father Chito was the first and the last when he was captured. And we were waiting, we are still waiting for any development, updates about where they are and what their conditions is. We're so worried about the situation now." DELA PENA SPEAKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) BISHOP, EDWIN DELA PENA, SAYING: "He was only given a few lines to deliver and it was simply echoing the demands of the kidnappers." REPORTER: And those demands were for troops to withdraw? "For the troops to withdraw, for the military to declare a unilateral ceasefire, and yeah that's it. To allow them to a free exit." REPORTER SPEAKING TO DELA PENA (SOUNDBITE) (English) BISHOP, EDWIN DELA PENA, SAYING: "That was a failure, I suppose, of intelligence. And once they reach a point where the number was good enough to start something, that's it. It just happened at this time, at this time" NECKLACE BEARING A CROSS ON DELA PENA (SOUNDBITE) (English) BISHOP, EDWIN DELA PENA, SAYING: "It would be difficult to, for the Christian community to come back. First of all they are traumatized by the experience" DELA PENA WALKING WITH REPORTER
- Embargoed: 12th June 2017 05:16
- Keywords: rebels demands Islamists Filipino priest held hostage bishop Philippines
- Location: MARAWI CITY, UNKNOWN LOCATION, PHILIPPINES
- City: MARAWI CITY, UNKNOWN LOCATION, PHILIPPINES
- Country: Philippines
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Insurgencies
- Reuters ID: LVA0026IW53D1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Islamic State-linked militants occupying Marawi demanded safe passage outside the town and a unilateral ceasefire from Philippine troops, a bishop told Reuters on Saturday (May 27) after he spoke with a priest held hostage by the rebels.
Bishop Edwin Dela Pena, who is in charge of Christians in the Islamic city of Marawi, said the militants took town priest Teresito Soganub captive during the first day of fighting on Tuesday (May 23) and received a phone call from him about the rebels' demands.
At least 61 militants and 13 security forces have died in the six-day conflict as the military proceeds with airstrikes and ground operations in Marawi. President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the city and the entire island of Mindanao under martial law to contain the militants who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
Dela Pena said the military operation preceding the Marawi occupation against top Islamist leaders was a "failure of intelligence."
"It would be difficult for the Christian community to come back. They are traumatized for their experience," Dela Pena said.
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