Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:47
“It is not kidnapping! There is no basis to presume that they were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf because they voluntarily went there to interview.”
Thus, opined DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo on the whereabouts of a Jordanian journalist and two Filipinos who went missing last week in Sulu, during a press briefing yesterday before the start of the “Tapatan on Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change” program held at the Astoria Hotel along Mayor Jaldon St.
Robredo said he has ordered authorities to investigate and check the identity of Nadzmir Alih if the said ASG is using his real name or alias and if reports are accurate that he has in his custody the three missing media men.
“Actually we are doing everything to save the victims, but it could also be that they don’t want to be rescued dahil kusang loob sila pumunta doon,” Robredo added.
The DILG secretary emphasized Sulu officials have promised the victims police protection but it seemed they rejected since they went to the ASG lair on their own volition.
“So before we appeal to the rebels, we must first figure out who were responsible in sending them to Sulu and facilitated the alleged interview with the terrorist group," Robredo emphasized.
He also said the police, military and other authorities cannot be blamed for the incident.
According to Robredo, the two Filipinos who were able to call their respective relatives in Manila reportedly disclosed that they were safe and in good condition.
“We are still trying to figure out if the two Pinoys knew that they were going inside the ASG lair or the Jordanian guaranteed their safety,” Robredo continued.
Asked if rumors are true that the rebels are asking P50 million for their safe release, Robredo said he does know about it adding that maybe other individuals are trying to take advantage of the situation.
“It is not a case of abduction, they went there to interview. Gumawa sila ng paraan para kusang pumasok doon,” Robredo reiterated.
It will be recalled, the Jordanian national, Baker Atyani, 43, Al-Arabiya Bureau chief for South East Asia, his two Filipino cameraman and soundman Ramelito Vela, 39, and Roland Letrino, 22 both from Manila, went to Sulu purposely to make a documentary on the lives of the Abu Sayyaf when they reportedly went missing Friday last week.
According to reports, seven persons on board a white multicab fetched the three journalists at the SSB Hostel in barangay Bangkal, Patikul Municipality and took them to Bud Datu but as of press time, they failed to return.
by: Nonong Santiago
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