MANILA, Philippines - For the first time since she was kidnapped by bandit group Abu Sayyaf in 2008, ABS-CBN broadcast journalist Ces Oreña-Drilon put an end to rumors that she was raped during the ordeal.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, an English-language Hong Kong newspaper, Drilon said she suffered public humiliation amid speculation that she was raped by her captors.
This was on top of being suspended by ABS-CBN for three months for disobeying editors' orders and for endangering the lives of her two cameramen.
"In front of the whole world I had to admit my mistake," Drilon told the newspaper.
She admitted, however, that she "was scared to death" when she was in rebel territory.
Drilon recalled how her abductors had taunted her: "Go ahead and put on makeup so that when we mail your head to ABS-CBN you will look pretty."
"I didn't want to beg them for my life. It wouldn't help. They'll kill you anyway," she added, referring to the group who was known for decapitating hostages.
She then argued for her life. "My [four] kids have insurance. If you kill me, you won't get any money."
No more LV handbags
The article, which was published on Tuesday, also mentioned that Drilon gave away two of her Louis Vuitton handbags to a charity auction after she was released by the Abu Sayyaf in 2008.
These things, the broadcast journalist said, lost their importance after her "nine-day journey to hell and back."
Years after the ordeal, Drilon received a number of awards. Among these are the "Triumph Over Tragedy" award from Working Mom magazine and "Woman of Style and Substance" award from People Asia magazine.
She is currently the host of "Pipol," a revival of an ABS-CBN original, and is one of the anchors of late evening newscast "Bandila."