Palace condemns death of Canadian hostage in Sulu

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/14 June) — Malacañang has condemned the killing Monday of Canadian Robert Hall by the bandit group Abu Sayyaf, an article posted Tuesday in pcoo.gov.ph, the website of the Palace communications office, said.

“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. We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to his bereaved family,” the article quoted Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. as saying in a statement.

Hall, 50, was beheaded after the 3:00 p.m. deadline for the payment of ransom on Monday lapsed.

The Abu Sayyaf was asking for P600-million ransom for Hall and two other kidnap victims — Hall’s Filipina partner Maritess Flor and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.

Last April 25, the bandit group beheaded another Canadian, mining executive John Ridsdel, after a ransom deadline expired.

Hall and the other victims were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf on September 21 last year from a resort in Samal Island.

“We thank the Canadian government and people for their steadfast support and understanding, which has been extremely helpful in our determined efforts to end this decades-old problem,” Coloma said.

“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,” he added. (MindaNews)