Philippines priest celebrates first year of ‘second life’ after escape

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob in a still taken from a video shortly after his release.
On the anniversary of his escape, the Catholic priest held hostage for four months by an Islamist group in the southern Philippines city of Marawi says he has since found a new lease of life, reports Catholic news agency UCAN. Father Teresito Suganob was one of around 200 people taken . . . Read More

Philippines: Mindanao Christians present ‘policy agenda’ for new Muslim region

Christians form a minority in southern Philippines and policy proposals dealt with their concerns once they become citizens of an autonomous Muslim region. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christian leaders have submitted a “Christian policy agenda” to the transitory body that will facilitate the formation of a new autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines, reports the Catholic news website UCAN. The agenda, put together after consultations last month in several areas set to become part of the . . . Read More

Will new Muslim region in southern Philippines bring peace?

Will new Muslim region in southern Philippines bring peace?
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called on all communities in the southern Mindanao region to support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) that is to facilitate the creation of an autonomous Muslim region. During a ceremony on Monday, 6 August, he urged the local population “to actively participate in constructive discussions . . . Read More

Philippines: Bangsamoro draft law includes religious freedom provision

The siege of the city of Marawi in Mindanao by Islamists one year ago, displaced many people. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The final draft of the law that will give greater autonomy to the southern Philippines region of Mindanao will include a provision allowing for religious freedom in the majority-Muslim territory, reports Catholic news agency UCAN. A panel of members from both the lower house and the Senate is expected to . . . Read More

Philippines parliament approves bill for autonomous Bangsamoro

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is seen as key to ending decades of conflict and stopping the growth of Islamic extremism in the southern region of Mindanao where just last year the city of Marawi was attacked by a militant group. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Philippines parliament yesterday (30 May) approved a bill that will give greater autonomy to the southern region of Mindanao, as reported by Reuters. The approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is another step towards the creation a new autonomous territory called Bangsamoro, named after its ‘Moro’, or Muslim, . . . Read More

Philippines: Marawi liberated but root cause of extremism remains

Soldiers on a military vehicle are seen on liberated but battle damaged street in Marawi City on 17 October. (Photo: Getty Images)
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared “Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence” on Tuesday (17 October) after the military killed two of the ring leaders behind the five-month assault on the city, but a religious freedom expert has warned the “killing of militant leaders does not destroy the fighters behind . . . Read More

Filipino priest Teresito Suganob free after 4 months as hostage

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob in a still taken from a video shortly after his release.
Catholic Filipino priest Teresito “Chito” Suganob is finally free, having been held hostage by Islamic State-linked militants for almost four months in the war-torn city of Marawi. According to The New York Times, the priest was rescued late on Saturday (16 September) by the Philippines military, as it moved closer . . . Read More

Three months on, Islamists still hold Christian hostages, as Marawi residents start to rebuild

The siege of the city of Marawi in Mindanao by Islamists one year ago, displaced many people. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
More than three months after it first attacked the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines, the Maute terrorist group is on the run, while still apparently holding 46 hostages, including Catholic priest Teresito “Chito” Suganob and 13 children. Almost half a million Marawi residents are displaced as a result . . . Read More

Philippines reconsiders bill for autonomous Bangsamoro

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) shakes hands with Al-Hajj Murad (L), chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as Ghazali Jaafar (R), vice chairman of MILF, looks on during a ceremony where a draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was submitted to the president at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on July 17, 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)
A new law that will govern the creation of a new autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines was submitted as a bill to the government on Monday (July 17) for approval by Congress. President Rodrigo Duterte received the draft “Bangsamoro Basic Law” (BBL), crafted by a 21-member commission that . . . Read More