'Kidnapped' Jordanian journalist in hot water

by Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2012 10:06 PM | Updated as of Jun 23 2012 06:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines – No less than President Benigno Aquino III wants Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani to explain himself once he resurfaces from Jolo, Sulu where he is filming a documentary on the Abu Sayyaf.

“Why are you in touch with a terrorist force in the country and you purposely misled government authorities who were trying to secure you? That has to be addressed,” said Aquino.

Atyani of Al Arabiya and his two Filipino crew were last seen on June 12.

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan said he could give Atyani a dressing down when they finally come face to face for the trouble he has caused.

"Sasabihin ko sa kanya na kapag ganu’n lang ang pinunta niya dito, para bulabugin, eh sana huwag na lang siyang pumunta dito,” said Tan.

Philippine authorities said there are still no indications that Atyani and his companions are being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf.

"We are not doing any active operations as to running after them. We know where they are, and their general location. Hindi naman po sila threatened pa,” said Col. Jose Jorel Cenabre Task Force Sulu deputy commander.

Amid conflicting reports over his disappearance, Jordan's Foreign Ministry said Atyani was kidnapped and that efforts are being done to secure his release.

But as far as Malacanang is concerned, there is no indication that the group was kidnapped.

"We have the information that he is still there, that he voluntarily went there, there seems to be no indication to the contrary. There has been no ransom that has been reported or that has come to light so from where we stand the situation is the same,” deputy presidential spokesperson Usec. Abigail Valte. -- ANC