MANILA (PNA) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was on the phone
today with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
on efforts to secure the release of Filipino diplomat
Angelito Nayan who was abducted last week in Kabul,
Nayan was abducted in
broad daylight last Thursday with two co-workers from
Ireland and Serbia-Montenegro, serving under the UN
Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) which
monitored the recent elections in Afghanistan.
The details of the
conversation with Annan were not released, but last
week Annan expressed "deep regret and dismay" that the
three were abducted.
The President stressed
the necessity of "restraint on information (being
given out) in order to avoid controversies that could
prejudice the safety of Angelito."
"The government is taking
all appropriate measures to bring Angelito home," the
President said, underscoring the government's close
coordination with the United Nations and other
institutions on the case.
The Department of Foreign
Affairs (DFA) has announced near-daily briefings on
the Nayan abduction but had forgone one today in lieu
of a meeting on the issue of the National Security
Council late this afternoon, according to DFA
spokesperson Gilbert Asuque.
The DFA is the only
agency authorized to give out information on the Nayan
saga. It coordinates with the UN, through its Manila
resident representative, Deborah Landey, and other
governments such as Ireland, Afghanistan, and
In a press statement, the
DFA said that "in view of the extraordinary and
dangerous circumstances that have arisen from the
abduction, (it is) imposing a restraint on information
on the matter in order to assure the safety and
security to the fullest extent possible."
"We are at a critical
juncture in this saga and I ask for public
understanding regarding the restraint on information
we are imposing," pleaded DFA Secretary Alberto G.
"This is necessary to
enable the government to proceed on its crucial tasks
unhampered, to avoid misunderstanding and to ensure
that controversies that may endanger the life of Nayan
may be avoided," Romulo said.
have also been briefed on the situation.
The Philippine ambassador
to Pakistan, who is also accredited to Afghanistan,
Jorge Arizabal, is now in Kabul establishing contacts
for Nayan's release.
Arizabal has reported
that all Filipinos in Afghanistan--numbering 37-- were
"accounted for" and advised "to limit their