Faith strengthened Fr. Suganob while in the hands of Maute-ISIS

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines —  Faith in God, helped Fr. Chito Suganob survived during his 116-day ordeal in the hands  Maute-ISI S.

Suganob was  held captive by the terrorist for 116 days, he was among the civilians used a human shields during the five-month Marawi siege.

During the trials of his life inside the main battle area, Suganob came to a point of asking God to  take him.

He even asked God why He had put him in that situation.

“I complained, I asked Him, ‘Why me?’ I did not commit a big sin. It reached that point but it (my faith) did not waiver, it even strengthened. I know that the Lord put me in that situation but He was not happy that He had to put me in that situation,” he said in an interview Friday during a press conference.

The Catholic priest, however said,  it never crossed his mind to leave the  prieshood.

“No, it’s out of the question. It never crossed my mind, not in one point. That’s not the issue. The issue there is how to survive. How to strengthen my faith, especially (because) I am a priest. It’s not a question of getting out,” he said.

While inside the battleground watching the fight, hearing the firefights “You wait for your death every minute, puede ba kunin ko mo na ako dito Lord, puede ba tamaan mo nalang ako Lord, para diritso na akong mamatay,” Suganob narrated.

At gunpoint, the terrorist forced him  to collect undetonated ordnance which his captors would turn into improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“Alam na alam ko. Pari ako. I don’t have to gather these black powder na gagawing explosive device to kill their enemies,  Kasi instrument of death. Pero wala ka naman choice,” Suganob said.

He feared the consequences if he refused his captors’ orders. “Kung patayin ako, kaya ko. Kung bigyan ako ng severe punishment, ‘yun ang di ko kaya,” he explained.

Suganob also revealed that the terror-group’s leader Omar Maute and ISIS emir Isnilon Hapilon made sure he was okay and urged him to keep praying.

Fr. Chito Suganob during the  Marawi siege, His captors released a video  of the  priest asking the government to stop the fight  and instead open its door for negotiation.

As it is now, he said he missed the people of Marawi, he missed celebrating mass with the people, but he needs to go through a healing process.

As it is now, Suganob is helping the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Philippines, and the Prelature of Marawi are working together to help heal thousands of people and rehabilitate the war-torn city.

A campoaign dubbed as “Duyog Marawi” was launched last Friday, to raise funds to help rebuild the city and help the people start anew.

Jonathan Luciano, ACN Philippines national director, said the program will focus on livelihood support for residents of Marawi City, the rehabilitation of the St. Mary’s Cathedral, and support for the 148 Christian and Muslim volunteers.

“We cannot do this alone, as we are supported solely by donors worldwide. We are encouraging our fellow Filipinos to join us in this mission. There are many ways to support us, and we are partnering with different dioceses as well to ask for their support,” Luciano said.

Donations are accepted through ACN Philippines’ savings accounts at Metrobank (savings account number ‎6327632026699), or Unionbank (savings account number ‎102440009889).

Other help may be coursed through the ACN Philippines’ website, https://acn-philippines.org/donate, through pledge forms, or by pickups within Metro Manila, which may be coordinated through ‎(02)2447334, ‎09451894071 or ‎09476968575.

For those who want to volunteer for Duyog Marawi, they may contact Bro. Reynaldo Barnido, Duyog Marawi director at ‎09276615853 or info@duyogmarawi.org or visit the Mindanao State University Campus.Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph and -Ferdinand Patinio/PNA

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