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4-FR-CHITO

Scots urged to pray for abducted Filipino priest

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley has urged Scots Catholics to pray for a Filipino priest who was kidnapped along with 240 others by Islamist extremists.

Fr Teresito ‘Chito’ Suganob has appeared in a video pleading for help a week after his abduction by Islamic militants.

“As we freely come together to pray and worship, please keep in your prayers Fr Chito and his parishioners who were kidnapped last week,” Bishop Keenan said. “Pray for their safe return.”

In the video, Fr Chito said the terrorists were demanding the Philippine government stop its military offensive against them, or else they would execute the prisoners.

“Mr President, please consider us,” Fr Chito says. “They don’t ask for anything… they just ask that you leave this place peacefully. We are in the midst of this war. We are asking your help to please give what they are asking for.”

CBCP News, the official news service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said it was unclear when the video was taken, but it does show Fr Chito amongst destroyed houses.

In the video, the priest says that the militants were ready to ‘die for their religion.’

“Mr President, you can’t use force and violence because they have the commitment they will die for this.”

Fr Chito was kidnapped last Tuesday night along with at least a dozen worshippers and church workers.

Violence erupted in Marawi last week after the military raided the hideout of Islamist commander Isnilon Hapilon. The extremists retaliated by laying siege to the city, burning buildings, raising ISIS flags, and killing at least two police officers.

The vicar general of Marawi said that along with Fr Chito there are about 240 more hostages, including women and children.

 

—This story ran in full in the June 2 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

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