By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, (PNA) — Some 88 hostages held in captivity for more than ten days were finally set free and are about to be reunited with their families on Sunday.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), before joining their families, the 88 hostages were taken to Camp Batalla for Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD).
CISD is a psycho-social intervention that helps persons cope with their traumatic experiences.
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said it is necessary to ensure that the hostages will be relieved from all forms of stress to enable them to regain their normal social and mental functioning.
Among those who received CISD was a 17- year old hostage from Zamboanga Sibugay, who was rescued during the crossfire.
“During the first two days, we were all crying and scared that we might get killed in the crossfire between government forces and the MNLF-Misuari faction,” the boy said.
“After a few days, everyone seemed to have gotten used to the exchange of gunshots,” he said.
Meanwhile a mother of another hostage victim expressed joy in the fact that her son was alright and would still be able to see him alive.
“During the days he was held captive by the MNLF, I could neither sleep nor eat well,” she said.
“Finally, the long wait is over, I can already embrace my son and tell him how much we love him,” she added.
Meanwhile, Soliman was herself teary eyed as she announced the names of the hostages.
“I feel for the families who suffered the agony of waiting for their loved ones to return safely,” Soliman said.