JOLO, Philippines (AP) _ Twelve Filipino Christian evangelists held hostage for three months by Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines have been rescued, President Joseph Estrada said Monday.

The rescue followed the escape earlier in the day of one of the evangelists.

Estrada telephoned a radio station to announce the news of the rescue.

``That is our good news for today,'' he said.

He said the Abu Sayyaf rebels holding the evangelists had all escaped.

``But our soldiers are pursuing them,'' he said. ``I think eventually we will be able to get them.''

The rebels are still holding an American and three Malaysians.

The 12 evangelists from the Jesus Miracle Crusade were abducted July 1 when they visited a rebel camp to pray for an earlier group of hostages.

Earlier Monday, troops recovered the evangelist who was able to escape, officials said. Fernando Solon, a Filipino, was the third hostage to escape from the Abu Sayyaf rebels since thousands of troops attacked the guerrillas Sept. 16 on southern Jolo island.

``He was able to escape from his captors and was picked up by soldiers,'' military spokesman Maj. Alberto Gepilano said.

Two French journalists earlier held hostage escaped Sept. 19 while their captors were fleeing from the military.