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Palace monitoring developments in disappearance of Arab journalist

Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte

MANILA, Philippines – The local government in Sulu is on top of the situation in connection with the reported disappearance of an Arab television journalist in a known hideout of terrorists but Malacañang is closely watching developments in the case, a Palace spokesperson said Saturday.

Abigail Valte, one of President Benigno Aquino III’s spokespersons, said Malacañang has received a report that Baker Abdulla Atyani, Al-Arabiya’s TV bureau chief for Southeast Asia, was offered security by the local government but refused.

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“At present the local government is handling this because from what we understand they offered security. It was refused and they reached a compromise that someone from the local government unit, a local, would go with him to guide them and make sure they don’t run into any harm,” Valte said over radio.

“But for some reason or another… [Atyani and his crew] managed to leave with somebody else other than the person assigned to them by the local government,” she added.

Valte said Malacañang was on standby for updates on Atyani’s disappearance.

“Certainly, we’d also wait for news. We will also wait for updates on this matter,” she added.

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TAGS: Abu Sayyaf, Al-Arabiya, Baker Abdulla Atyani, Features, Government, Media, Terrorism
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