Fr. Teresito “Chito” Soganub, who was taken hostage in 2017 by armed fighters who had pledged allegiance with the Islamic State, died on Wednesday. He was 59.

Bishop Edwin Dela Peña of Marawi said the priest succumbed to cardiac arrest in his sleep early morning at his residence in Noralah, South Cotabato.

“It is with sadness that we make this announcement in behalf of the Prelature of Marawi,” Bishop Dela Peña said.

He said the doctors estimated Fr. Soganub’s death to have occurred between 5am to 6am.

“Please include him in your prayers,” the bishop said.

Fr. Soganub was abducted along with other Christians on May 23, 2017 as militants rampaged through the Islamic City of Marawi, torching churches, schools and other structures in a well-planned attack.

He and other civilian hostages were rescued by security forces after they escaped from the clutches of the extremists on Sept. 26, 2017.

Bishop Dela Peña said the funeral arrangements for Fr. Soganub will be announced later. CBCP News