Marawi priest Chito Soganub jokes: ‘I am physically strong and handsome’

Rambo Talabong
Marawi priest Chito Soganub jokes: ‘I am physically strong and handsome’
Despite being held captive for more than a hundred days in Marawi City, Fr Teresito 'Chito' Soganub is still able to crack a joke as he faces the media

MANILA, Philippines – After being rescued on Saturday, September 16, from Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City, priest Teresito “Chito” Soganub was presented to the media at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, September 18.

Despite being held captive for more than a hundred days in the battle zone, Soganub was smiling and able to crack a joke to the media.

“I am physically strong and handsome,” said the priest, eliciting laughter from those in the room.

It was a moment of relief for Soganub, who was rescued on Saturday after soldiers took control of the Bato Mosque, one of 3 defensive strongholds of the local terrorists.

According to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Año, troops tried to rescue Soganub thrice from September 13 to 15 before succeeding the 4th time on Saturday.

While Soganub said he felt well, Año said doctors and experts will still have to fully assess the priest’s condition.

Soganub was not tortured while in captivity, Año added.

The rescue of the priest came as soldiers began their “final push” to end the siege in Marawi City, with terrorist strongholds falling one by one. (WATCH: The final push: Inside the Marawi battle area)

Before his rescue, Soganub was coerced to speak in a propaganda video to air the demands of the enemy. (READ: Kidnapped priest made video message ‘under duress,’ says bishop) – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.