In one of the first messages you sent out [during a radio interview arranged by your captors], the Abu Sayyaf told you very explicitly, "Tell the Armed Forces of the Philippines to pull back. Stop shooting." But later, it sounds like the message was heartfelt when you said, "Stop shooting. Coming with guns blazing is just going to get us killed." Was that you speaking at that stage?
Yes. One time, Martin wrote a letter to a certain colonel. [The captors] told Martin, "The colonel in charge of this area is so and so. Would you like to write him a letter and ask him to stop the campaign?" And that's all he said. Martin wrote the whole letter and told him a bunch of good reasons to stop" How did Martin say it? The Abu Sayyaf are going to survive this campaign, but the hostages are not. That was very heartfelt. No one told us to say that.
Were there things you were actually forbidden from communicating?
Immediately when you guys were taken hostage, New Tribes Mission issued a press release that was widely circulated, but then there was an effort to tone the publicity down.
They told our families the same thing.
They didn't want to raise …
… our value.
Do you think that made any difference either way?
I don't know. That may have made a difference for Guillermo [Sobero, who was executed].
The Abu Sayyaf were very upset that there was a news blackout in the Philippines. [They thought] if they raised a big stink, probably somebody would have come forward sooner with a ransom. Maybe. I don't know. I've met so many people since I've been in the States who have said, "We wanted to raise a ransom for you. We started it. We could have gotten a ransom ...1
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