MANILA, Philippines - The spokesperson of the Jordan foreign ministry has confirmed that Al Arabiya Network South East Asia Bureau Chief Baker Abdulla Atyani was kidnapped.
In an interview with the Jordan Times, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sabah Rafei said: "Efforts exerted via the Jordanian embassy in Tokyo and our consul in Manila have confirmed that Atyani was kidnapped. We are following up on the case in order to secure his safe release."
Military intelligence sources revealed that Atyani and his 2 Filipino companions are being held by Abu Sayyaf Commander Tuan Nadzmer Alih.
However, Sulu Police on Friday belied the report.
Sr. Supt. Antonio Freyra, provincial director of Sulu Philippine National Police, told ANC that there is no indication that Atyani and his 2 Filipino crew were abducted last June 12.
“He was not abducted. There are no signs that he was abducted. He went to the place voluntarily,” Freyra said.
Freyra said authorities have yet to contact the missing individuals but they have received intelligence reports that the 3 “can move freely.”
Freyra said the report that the 3 were kidnapped is still subject to validation.
Malacañang also maintained that Atyani was not kidnapped by terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, contrary to the Jordan Times report.
Deputy Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said there has been no ransom demands from the Abu Sayyaf.
Freyra said police checkpoints have been put up in the province to monitor the situation.