PH gov’t condemns ‘brutal, senseless’ killing of Canadian ASG hostage
Malacañang on Tuesday slammed the execution of a Canadian national held hostage by the bandit group Abu Sayyaf.
“We strongly condemn the brutal and senseless murder of Mr. Robert Hall, a Canadian national, after being held captive by the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu for the past nine months,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.
“We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to his bereaved family,” he said.
An Abu Sayyaf spokesperson, shortly after the ransom deadline lapsed, said Canadian Robert Hall has been executed. Later that day, a decapitated head was found in Jolo, Sulu.
In the statement, Coloma thanked the Canadian government for its “steadfast support and understanding.” He said this helped in the government’s “determined efforts to end this decades-old problem.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed support for the Philippine government after John Ridsdel, who was part of the hostaged group, was executed last month.
The Philippines has a no-ransom policy. Despite the Abu Sayyaf demanding P600 million in exchange for the lives of three of its hostages, the government said it will not lay ransom and is instead focusing on rescuing the captives.
“We truly regret that our people’s cherished tradition of extending gracious hospitality toward foreign nationals has been marred by a small band of criminals whose despicable actions have been abetted by the extortion of ransom from their previous victims,” Coloma said.
The group of four, which includes a Norwegian national and Hall’s Filipina girlfriend Marites Flor, were on vacation in Samal Island when they were abducted by the bandit group.
“For the past two months, the AFP and the PNP have waged continuing military and law enforcement operations that have degraded the capability of our enemies and limited their movements,” Coloma said. “This latest heinous crime serves to strengthen our government’s resolve to put an end to this reign of terror and banditry.” CDG
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