Atyani has no working permit–Robredo
MANILA, Philippines—Jordanian journalist Baker Abdullah Atyani didn’t have a working permit when he entered the Philippines, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters during the launch of the Local Government Watch, he said Atyani, Al Arabiya news network Southeast Asia bureau chief, came to the Philippines only as a “tourist” and didn’t have a working permit in support for the documentary they said they are making, or will make, featuring the bandit group Abu Sayyaf.
“They came here as tourists [and] they have no working permit,” he said, referring to Atyani.
Atyani, along with cameraman Ramelito Vela and audioman Rolando Letrero, were last seen last June 12 before they allegedly left their hostel and boarded a multicab, Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra, Sulu provincial police, earlier said.
But when asked of his comment on the real status of the team, Robredo said he would rather not make any more comment on the matter, saying that it would “be best if we leave the issue as it is” for the safety of the three.
“Shut up ako d’yan (I’ll shut up on this),” he said.
He said he will leave the issue on proper authorities tasked to handle the case.
It was Robredo who said that Atyani and the two TV crewmen were being held “against their will” after the team apparently pushed through with their plan to interview the rebel group inside their territory last June 12 for a documentary. Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, however, denied this.
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