(MARAWI, Philippines) — A Catholic priest who was taken hostage by militants linked to ISIS says he’s being held alongside 200 other captives, including children, in what appeared to be a battle-scarred part of a southern Philippine city.
In a video apparently taken under duress by militants, Father Teresito Suganob said his captors wanted the military to withdraw its forces from Marawi, where Islamic militants still hold pockets of territory after a week of gunbattles with the army.
A colleague of Suganob confirmed to The Associated Press that the man in the video is the priest. It was not clear when the video was taken or who released it online, and whether Suganob believed what he was saying or was forced to say it.
“We want to live another day, we want to live another month,” Suganob said, standing in front of debris and partially burned buildings. Directing his remarks to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, he said, “We want to live few years and in your generosity, Mr. President, in your heart, we know you can make something (happen).”