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ICC Note: Philippine priest Teresito Soganub was freed after spending nearly 4 months in captivity. Government troops were able to rescue Father Soganub along with another hostage last weekend. Healing and reintegration projects are put in place by Catholic church for Father Soganub and other hostages. Marawi Bishop De La Pena states that even though his freedom is great news, the militants are still holding around 40 hostages.

09/19/2017 Philippines (UCA News) – Bishop Edwin de la Pena of Marawi has assigned a caretaker team to take over programs and services of a senior Philippine priest rescued from IS-inspired militants after almost four months of captivity.

Duyog Marawi, the social action center of Marawi Prelature, said vicar-general Father Teresito Soganub and other hostages will need a long period of healing after their ordeal.

A combination of priests, lay missionaries from the Redemptorist Missionaries, Caritas Cebu, and the Capiz Archdiocesan Social Action Center will assume responsibility for Father Soganub’s chaplaincy, education, interfaith and peace building programs at the Mindanao State University, it added.

In a separate statement released on Sept. 19, Bishop de la Pena said the priest would undergo gradual reintegration. He said healing and reintegration would be offered to all hostages who seek help, regardless of faith.

Government troops rescued Father Soganub and another hostage late on Sept. 16. Armed forces spokesman, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, estimated militants are still hold around 40 hostages.

“I am physically strong and sound,” Father Soganub said at a press briefing on Sept. 18, in Camp Aguinaldo, the national military headquarters.

He asked Filipinos to pray for the remaining hostages.

The bishop thanked the government for the rescue but raised concern for the other hostages.

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