Roman Catholic priest Father Teresito Soganub, blesses the media after being Rescued.  Froma news conference Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 at Camp Aguinaldo in suburban Quezon city, Philippines

He was among many civilians abducted in May when hundreds of militants waving IS-style black flags laid siege to mosque-studded Marawi, a center of Islamic faith in the south of the mostly Catholic Philippines. “I still believe in an interfaith relationship, that we can be united as Muslims and Christians, that we’re not enemies,” he said.

He smiled and waved at photographers and TV cameras before being ushered out of a military hall without taking any questions. The priest survived in militant custody through more than three months of daily airstrikes, artillery bombardment and gunfire and, according to Ano, refused to go along with a plan to escape by other hostages. At least 45 hostages remain in the custody of a few dozen remaining gunmen and efforts to rescue them are underway, he said.