The Catholic priest held captive by Islamic militants in the Philippines city of Marawi has described his 116 days in captivity as “a nightmare”, reports UCA News.
Father Teresito Suganob spoke about his ordeal as he returned to the island of Mindanao for the first time since his release on 16 September.
Suganob said his faith in God helped him survive. “Yes I was angry with God for putting me in such a horrible situation. However, my faith in the Lord did not waiver. In fact it even became deeper,” he said.
“I prayed more feverishly than I used to do with death staring us straight on the face. Anytime, a bomb or a bullet could hit anyone of us with the fierce fighting between the two sides,” he added.
The priest escaped with another male captive under cover of darkness while their captors slept. They were later found by government troops.
Suganob was taken from Saint Mary’s Cathedral with five other church workers on the first day of fighting in Marawi in May.
Meanwhile a number of Christians remain missing in Marawi a month after the Philippines military liberated the city from terrorist gunmen.
Mindanao’s Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team reported that at least 293 people on the Red Cross list remained unaccounted for, although they cannot specify how many of these are Christian.
Another agency said families of the missing do not want to officially record the names of their relatives. Revie Sani, head of The Management of the Dead and Missing committee of the NGO Task Force Bangon Marawi, said families are “afraid to be tagged as relatives of an extremist”.