On being a meddler in the ICRC hostage crisis
"The words used by Secretary (Gilberto) Teodoro to describe our efforts to help save the lives of the hostages in Sulu are careless and unfortunate.
The lives on the line belong to the Red Cross. I have a personal and institutional responsibility to do everything I can to secure the safe return of the hostages. If I have expressed concern about government and military policy or action in Sulu, it is because of the danger they, both the military and the Abu Sayyaf, pose to the lives of the hostages. The hostage-takers talk to us, not to Mr. Teodoro or the commanders there.
I will not cut off communication with them just to avoid being described as a meddler. At this point, talk is a lifeline in this extremely dangerous situation. This is not a location shoot for a movie. There is no Take 2 if things do not turn out right.
If the hostages are harmed, the door to life will be closed. The Red Cross and humanity will lose. But the loss could be even greater for our nation. Mark my word.