Body of Abu kidnap victim found
ZAMBOANGA CITY—The headless body of Canadian Robert Hall, who was abducted last year and beheaded last month by the Abu Sayyaf terror group, was found in Sulu on Saturday morning, according to the military.
Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said the decaying remains were dug up in Barangay Upper Kamuntayan, Talipao town, at 11:35 a.m.
The body was found by troops under Joint Task Group (JTG) Sulu following information provided by locals, Tan said.
“The body was brought to JTG Sulu headquarters in Barangay Busbus in Jolo for documentation before being turned over to the PNP Soco [scene of crime operatives],” Tan said.
Hall was killed on June 13 after ransom demanded by the terrorist group was not paid. His head was found the same day in front of the Jolo Cathedral.
Hall was the second of the four persons the Abu Sayyaf kidnapped from Samal Island in Davao del Norte on Sept. 21 last year to be beheaded, after fellow Canadian John Ridsdel was decapitated on April 25.
Only Filipino victim, Marites Flor, Hall’s fiancée, was freed on June 24. The remaining kidnap victim, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, is still in Abu hands.
The military said efforts to rescue Sekkingstad and other kidnap victims like European birdwatcher Ewold Horn, who has been held by the Abu Sayyaf for years, were continuing.
At least 10 battalions—5,000 troops—had been deployed to the island-province and all military resources “from land, sea and air” had been made available for the Sulu operations, Tan said.
But the Abu Sayyaf downplayed the military effort in Sulu.
Their spokesperson, Abu Raami, said the Abu Sayyaf would make it hard for the government troops to find them.
“We know the terrain,” Raami said in a phone interview sometime last month.
He said they learned to evade detection by military aircraft by running for cover. “We put off all communications and we hide.” TVJ