Friday, 29 June 2012 13:13
A Jordanian journalist and his two Filipino crewmen are well and alive after they went missing or held hostage in Sulu, officials said Wednesday.
Local authorities received reports that Baker Atyani and his companions are still conducting interviews with certain personalities in remote areas in the province.
Atyani and Filipinos Rolando Letrero, an audio man; and photographer Ramelito Vela have been missing for over two weeks now.
The Jordanian journalist was working for Al Arabiya News Channel as bureau chief for Southeast Asia. He hired the two Filipinos.
The three, who went to Jolo, Sulu to do a documentary on Mindanao, were last seen leaving the Sulu State College Hostel last June 12 and have not returned since then.
"He is with the ASG and believed well taken care off and not held against their will," said a member of the Sulu Crisis Management Committee who requested anonymity.
Local police in Sulu said that Atyani is not even considered "missing" because his whereabouts are already known.
"Atyani is not a hostage and in fact there is no indication that any crime or complaint is evident," their press statement further said.
They also said the only established fact is that he is freely moving around with the ASG and that the AFP also received similar reports from the ground.
In light of these developments, the authorities said the purpose of the crisis committee is now downgraded to a Monitoring Committee, which involves the participation of the community to monitor Atyani's activities and not lose sight of his whereabouts.
By Hader Glang
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