Palace: No ransom for missing Jordanian journalist, crew

Rappler.com
The government claims that it will not pay any ransom if the reason behind a missing Jordanian journalist and his crew turn out to be kidnapping

MANILA, Philippines – The government claims that it will not pay any ransom if the reason behind a missing Jordanian journalist and his crew turn out to be kidnapping.

Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Sunday, June 17, that they haven’t even considered the missing journalist and his crew as abducted.

“Well, you know, first that (ransom) is premature because nobody is even definitive if it was actually an abduction. And, second, the government holds a no ransom policy—that has not changed,” she said.

Baker Atyani of the Dubai-based Al Arabiya network and his two Filipino crew arrived in Jolo by plane on Monday, June 11, and told the authorities they were there to shoot a television documentary. The three failed to return to their hotel the next day.

“They are still considered missing and efforts are being expended to locate them. The last time that they were seen, they voluntarily left their hostel with several persons,” Valte said.

The group was last spotted at 5:40 am on June 12, Tuesday, when a vehicle fetched them. They left behind their room key and personal belongings, and only took their camera equipment with them.

The crew has yet to be located. Authorities still have to establish whether Atyani, who has interviewed Al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, has indeed been kidnapped.

“We’re monitoring that situation carefully. We’re getting updates from the local government in Sulu,” Valte said. – Rappler.com