A MILITARY spokesman said Monday, July 3, that Catholic priest Chito Suganob — among the hostages of the Maute group in Marawi City — is still alive and is serving as cook of the terrorists.
“Ang panayam po namin doon sa mga survivors or escapees three days ago po is buhay siya (Suganob). Kasama siya sa parang isang hostage area,” Joint Task Force Marawi spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera said.
“Siya raw ang ginagawang taga-serve, taga-luto. Visual po, nakita ng mga nakapanayam natin,” he added.
Earlier, Abdullah Maute, one of the leaders of the rebel group, reportedly expressed willingness to release Suganob in exchange for the release of their parents who were arrested in separate occasions by government forces.
In a related development, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Eduardo Año said the Maute’s stronghold is “getting smaller” due to the continuing surgical military operations. He admitted, though that the heavy number of armed enemies in the said area is still a big challenge, as the military is also taking into consideration the safety of the civilian hostages.