An Italian envoy arrived for talks with Philippine authorities Thursday on efforts to secure freedom for an Italian priest kidnapped almost a month ago in a volatile southern region.
The Philippine military has mounted a massive search for the Rev. Giancarlo Bossi, who was seized by gunmen in southern Zamboanga Sibugay province on June 10, but this week it ceased cooperating with Muslim separatist rebels, who pulled out from the area.
"We don't have any official news regarding the kidnap of Father Bossi," said Margherita Boniver, a prominent Italian lawmaker and veteran of several humanitarian missions, after arriving in Manila early Thursday.
She said she planned to go to the southern Mindanao region, where Bossi is being held, "if the circumstances allow it."