Mary's Cathedral in Marawi City on May 23, 2017. File MANILA, Philippines — Catholic priest Teresito “Chito” Suganob escaped Saturday night from his Maute captors after soldiers reclaimed the mosque where they held him captive since May 23. The iconic Masjid Bato Ali in Marawi City was reported cleared from Maute occupation by 9 p.m. Saturday. Text messages began circulating an hour later in central Mindanao purporting that the priest was found by soldiers after heavy gunfight inside the mosque. READ: Armed Forces captures key Maute base in besieged Marawi Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said on Sunday that lawyer Franklin Quijano, a newly appointed staff of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, relayed to him via text message that soldiers immediately took Suganob to a safe area far from the worship site. Quijano is based in Iligan City, less than an hour away via overland travel from Marawi City. Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. of the Western Mindanao Command declined to confirm the rescue of Suganob despite assertions by local officials that the priest is now in the custody of authorities.