Wed, 02 Aug 2000

RP ambassador in stable condition

JAKARTA (JP): Philippine Ambassador Leonides T. Caday was reportedly in stable condition and undergoing intensive treatment here Tuesday night.

Several officials who visited him said the ambassador was about to undergo surgery on his broken leg, however, till 11 p.m. Tuesday there was still no official explanation of his condition from doctors at Medistra Hospital, South Jakarta, where he is now being treated.

Leonides was taken to Medistra Hospital after receiving emergency treatment at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, Central Jakarta.

Ichramsyah A.R., vice director for medical affairs at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, confirmed that the ambassador suffered broken bones in his leg.

According to Ichramsyah, the ambassador left the hospital in a stable condition and had requested to be transferred to Medistra Hospital himself.

Several senior Indonesian officials have already visited the ambassador.

Leonides, a bachelor, has lived in Indonesia for over a year. He submitted his credentials as ambassador on March 11, 1999.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab was one of the first to visit the ambassador at Medistra Hospital on Tuesday evening.

Later at about 8:30 p.m. Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso also met and briefly chatted with Leonides.

"The condition of the ambassador is good. Fortunately he is conscious. I'm very concerned with this whole thing," Sutiyoso remarked.

"He seemed quite moved by my presence and he told me that he had four fractured bones in his leg. There were also burns on his body," Sutiyoso told journalists. "I told him to remain strong".

The ambassador is known to usually return home for lunch as the Philippines Embassy is less than two-kilometers away from his residence.

It was just as his chauffeur driven car arrived at his residence for his regular lunchtime break that the explosion tore into his Mercedes-Benz.

His chauffeur, Indonesian national Eben Eiser, remains in a critical condition at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital.

Leonides' diplomatic colleagues immediately condemned the attack.

Palestinian Ambassador Ribhi Awad, the dean of the diplomatic corps here, described it as a criminal terrorist attack.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry later also issued a formal statement condemning the attack saying "such a cowardly and irresponsible act of terrorism is simply intolerable, aimed at discrediting the government of Indonesia as well as creating an atmosphere of fear within the community". (ylt/07)