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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Betrayal led to our abduction, freed TV journalist admits

06/18/2008 | 11:02 AM

(Updated 1 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines - After being freed by their captors, broadcast journalist Cecilia Victoria "Ces" OreƱa-Drilon on Wednesday admitted that "betrayal" led to their abduction by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

In a press conference at a resort in Zamboanga City which was aired by radio dzBB, Drilon said: "There was some betrayal involved kaya kami nakidnap (that's why we were kidnapped)."

Drilon, however, did not give details on her claim, nor did she identify who betrayed them.

In a report, dzBB's Denver Trinidad quoted Drilon as saying they were treated well by their captors throughout their captivity, but "in a perverse kind of way."

"We were treated well, in a perverse kind of way," Drilon said.

In the press conference which was also attended by Senator Loren Legarda, Drilon said that at some point during their captivity, she, her cameraman and driver of them were tied by their captors.

Drilon also recalled that at one point, abductors threatened to execute cameraman Jimmy Encarnacion and driver Angelo Valderama.

"We were tied at some point, ako, si Jimmy at Angel. May threat na pupugutan sila ng ulo (There were threats to behead them)," Drilon said, adding that during one time she was talking to Legarda, their captors slapped one of her fellow captives.

In a separate report, GMA's Flash Report said Drilon appeared emotional during the press conference which was held shortly before their flight back to Manila.

The television report said Drilon could not hold back tears as she recounted her ordeal in the hands of their captives, and thanked authorities for their safe release in Sulu shortly before midnight Tuesday.

"Unang una kasi di ba sabi nila hindi mo siguro maiintindihan ang halaga ng isang bagay hanggang malapit itong mawala sa iyo. We came close to losing our lives and we didn’t realize, isa sa pinag-iisipan ko nang matagal, I thought I was so reckless I didn’t think of my family that I put through a really terrible ordeal in the last 10 days," Drilon said.

"I've been in and out of Mindanao and all my years as a journalist ang gusto ko lang ay maintindihan ang sitwasyon dito, gumawa ng istorya tungkol dito (all I want is to understand the situation and do a story about it)," she added.

In the press conference, Drilon said she is cooperating with the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their ongoing investigation into the kidnapping incident.

Drilon said she remains in good condition although she admitted that she had difficulty eating while in captivity.

Source: Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV