By Leslie Ann Aquino
Despite his experience of being hostaged, Father Teresito “Chito” Suganob said he will continue to engage in interreligious dialogue and work for peace.
The priest said he continues to believe that any religion is for peace.
“I was deprived of my freedom…you’re sitting with them (hostage takers) not knowing if in the next hour you are going to die,” Soganub told Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle during the third day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization held at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
“Still, I believe that the reason why a person has religion is because of the desire for peace, regardless of religion,” he added.
Soganub is also convinced that any misunderstanding can be solved if people will use their heart.
“A person has a heart, if we could talk heart to heart, even if our religions are different, we will understand each other,” he said.
To note, the priest is in the Institute for peace and development in Mindanao and had conducted programs in the Mindanao State University.
Soganub said that’s why despite what happened to him, his response will always be peace and love.
“My reply is stil peace and love because the way of Jesus is the way of peace,” he said.
The Marawi siege erupted in May 2017 wherein the Maute terrorists set the cathedral on fire and took Suganob and some church workers and worshippers hostage.
The same day, gunmen also stormed the bishop’s residence and several other buildings.
The siege, which lasted for five months, claimed more than a thousand lives, mostly terrorist fighters and displaced about half a million people.