The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani and his two Filipino crewmen were seen "roaming around" parts of Sulu, transferring from an Abu Sayyaf lair to a Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) camp, Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Tuesday.
Gazmin said that based on his conversation with Western Mindanao Command commander Maj. Gen. Noel Coballes, it seemed that Al-Arabiya network's Southeast Asia bureau chief Atyani, Ramilito Vela, and Rolando Letrero were not being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group as earlier reported.
"Sabi n'ya (Coballes) may mga sightings, may report na dumadating sa headquarters ng Westmincom na gumagalaw, gumagala 'yong Jordanian with his crew from one camp to the other, sa Abu Sayyaf camp, kampo ng MNLF. So with that, you can easily deduce na hindi s'ya bihag," Gazmin told reporters.
[He said there were sightings, there were reports reaching the Westmincom headquarters that the Jordanian and his crew were moving from the camp of the Abu Sayyaf to that of the MNLF. So with, you can easily deduce that he is not a hostage.]
Gazmin could not give the exact location of the three but said they were roaming around Sulu. He said troops remain on standby in case search and rescue operations would be called for Atyani and his crewmen.
"We are ready to move anytime. We are monitoring, we know exactlywhere they are, where they are moving, so kung sabihin na irerescuethen we will do our part," said Gazmin.