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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Drilon: Multi-awarded television journalist

Ces Oreña-Drilon, one of four people kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf over the weekend, is a multi-awarded journalist.

She started as a trainee for Maharlika Broadcasting System Channel 4 in 1985, according to the website of her current employer, the ABS-CBN television network. Impressed by her work, officials at Maharlika later hired her as a feature reporter, later making her a general-assignment reporter.

One of her most memorable reports on Channel 4 was the exclusive on the arrest of then-renegade-Colonel Gregorio Honasan, now a senator.

In 1989, ABS-CBN hired Drilon and assigned her to cover the Senate. Because of her broad experience in business reporting, she was made co-host of Usapang Business (Business Talk) with David Celdran.

Her career soared to a new high when ABS-CBN assigned her to manage in-depth reports, then made her an anchor on The World Tonight, a daily English news broadcast.

She hosted several public-affairs programs, including Pipol, Insider and The Correspondents. Drilon is now hosting the late-night news show Bandila with Korina Sanchez and Henry Omaga-Diaz.

Drilon covered many of the major news stories in the Philippines in the last two decades, including the 1989 coup attempt against then-President Corazon Aquino, the 1990 earthquake, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, and, last year, the failed rebellion of Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th from the posh Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati.

She has been recognized for her work. In 1995, she received the New Breed Reporter of the Year award. In 2004, she was given The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Foundation award.

She is married to artist Rock Drilon, and they have four children.

Professor’s profile

Kidnapped with Drilon are two cameramen, whose identities were unknown at press time, and Octavio Dinampo, a 56-year-old professor at the Marawi City campus of Mindanao State University where he teaches political science.

He lives in Panglima Hawani, Jolo. He has a wife and seven children. Dinampo is a mestizo Tausug and is a Christian, a source told The Manila Times. The source added that Drilon contacted the Abu Sayyaf through Dinampo.

Sources added that Dinampo is a peace advocate and is chairman of the Mindanao People Caucus, a non-government organization that promotes dialogue between the government and rebel groups in Mindanao.

In February 2006 he interviewed Abu Sayyaf leader Khadaffy Janjalani, who has since been killed by government troops. The interview was published in, the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
-- Johanna Sampan and Kendrick Go




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