Log 1, Live from Agusan
PROSPERIDAD, AGUSAN DEL SUR–Days, weeks, or months?
Riding here from the airport in Butuan, our satellite team put forward their bets on how long the hostage crisis we were sent to cover would last.
No one was sure when we would return to Manila. With the rural setting, the wait can possibly get dreary.
And it can go on. Our audio man tells of waiting over a month in Basilan in 2007 for the release of Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi. If that was just for one man, he said, what about for 15 hostages?
Jeff Canoy, our reporter, said it might only last 3 days, the length of their stay in this area for another hostage-taking two years back. The culprits and the reasons then and now are, after all, relatives.
I secretly wagered a week, pretty much the length our out-of-town coverages took of late. We arrived here Monday, and maybe we could be home Friday.
Our vehicles had to trek a rough road and a bouldery trench that seemed like a dried-up creek to reach the uphill barangay of La Purisima, where the hostages were held.
We shortly hesitated crossing our Hi-Ace, Starex, and Kia closed truck over a dilapidated bridge lined with separate or detached planks. It apparently held in place, since we found workers hauling lumber to a 10-wheeler after we passed over.
For more than 30 minutes after, our drivers struggled to bring those vans up the final steep and stony slope before the barangay proper.