As I write this post Ces Drilon and company together with Loren Legarda are holding a press conference. Drilon and company were set free by their hostage-takers several hours earlier. Good. A life saved is always something to be thankful for whatever the circumstances.
But it’s something to also contemplate about. While daring and courage never fail to draw awe and admiration, as when one enters dangerous territories defenseless for a mission, there is a line dividing bravery and foolhardiness, of daring and recklessness. of bold adventure and inconsiderate caper. The risks to this kind of undertakings are not confined to just life and limb. Life and limb are personal treasures; when one gambles them for a noble reason, yes indeed, we should all stand up in recognition of such a rare gallantry. However, a popular personality like Ces Drilon walking into a place like the wilderness of Sulu where hostage-taking is a cottage industry to conduct an interview, that is a different story altogether. Ces Drilon, by virtue of her stature, is a walking package of golden opportunities, a mobile vault full of cash, a strolling stockpile of treasure. She walks in there inside enemy territory, she walks in there like a mobile vault full of cash or a rolling cartful of treasure delivered to the enemy, additional funds a-plenty to buy an armory, to buy more supply to wage a war, to finance another series of bombing expeditions to kill and maim many more.
No ransom was paid?! Oh, come on.
Ransom is big business in Sulu. In fact, it always has been a very profitable one for all those involved, or so it is said.
So please, Ces, next time, before you embark on another dangerous mission in search for news, consider too that the next bomb to explode in a crowded place, or the bullet that would pierce another loved one’s body, could very well be bought by the ransom paid to gain your safety today.
(image from http://www.abs-cbni.com)