Jordanian TV reporter, 2 Filipino crews missing-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Saturday, June 16, 2012
ZAMBOANGA (Updated)-- A Middle Eastern television journalist and two Filipino crews, who arrived five days ago in Sulu province to do a documentary, were reported “missing,” a top police official said on Friday.
Directorate for Integrated Police Operation (Dipo)- West Director Manuel Barcena identified them as Baker Abdulla Atyani, 43, a Jordanian national, and Filipinos Rolando Letrero, 22, and Ramelito Vela, 39.
Atyani is the Al Arabiya News Channel bureau chief for Southeast Asia while Letrero works as an audioman and Vela as a photographer.
The Al Arabiya News Channel, which was launched on March 3, 2003, is majority owned by the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Barcena said the trio arrived last Monday in Jolo, the capital of Sulu, to do a documentary report about Mindanao.
They checked-in at the Sulu State College Hostel located along Martirez Street, Jolo town.
Barcena said they were last seen to have boarded on a multicab vehicle with registered plate number LLC-238 that left the hostel around 5:45 a.m. last Tuesday.
Barcena said since then they failed to return and were not in their two rented rooms when inspected last Wednesday except for several personal items they left behind.
Sulu Police Director Antonio Freyra said the three did not coordinate with his office for security personnel despite the advice of Governor Abdusakur Tan to ask for security.
They also declined the offer of Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin for security escorts, according to Freyra.
He said it has been the procedure for visitors of the province, both foreigner and local, to ask or to be provided with security considering the volatility of the situation in the place.
Amin said he and his wife even offered Atyani and his two companions “to stay in our residence” while they are in Jolo.
Barcena said the status of three at this time is that they "missing" since there is no confirmation of their abduction.(Bong Garcia/Sunnex)