Canadian PM condemns beheading of Abu kidnap victim

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 April) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued on Tuesday a statement condemning the death of Canadian national John Ridsdel in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group.

“I am outraged by the news that a Canadian citizen, John Ridsdel, held hostage in the Philippines since September 21, 2015, has been killed at the hands of his captors,” Trudeau said.

“Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers, and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage,” he said.

He added: “The Government of Canada is committed to working with the Government of Philippines and international partners to pursue those responsible for this heinous act and bring them to justice.

Trudeau condoled with the family and friends of the slain kidnap victim, and asked media to “respect their privacy at this difficult time”.

Ridsdel, a mining executive, was kidnapped on Sept. 2 last year from the Holiday Ocean View resort on Samal Island in Davao del Norte along with fellow Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Marithes Flor, a Filipina.
Ridsdel’s severed head was found in front of the municipal town hall in Jolo, Sulu Monday, the deadline set by the Abu Sayyaf for payment of ransom for the release of the victims.
The bandit group had demanded a ransom of P1 billion each for the hostages but the amount was reduced to P300 million.
Malacanang also issued a statement Tuesday extending its condolences to the Canadian government and to Ridsdel’s family.

Meanwhile, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman called the killing of Ridsdel “an act against humanity”.

”As a nation, we have to rise against this horrendous act of terrorism. Our faith and our humanity demand that we collectively and strongly condemn this act of terrorism.

”This incident is tragic and as peace-loving Muslims of Mindanao, as Filipinos tired of senseless deaths and violence, we stand against this,” Hataman said.

”With heavy hearts, we express our condolences to the family of  Mr. John Ridsdel.  Our thoughts are with you in this dark moment of sorrow and grief. Like you, we also hope that the reign of terror on the island provinces of Mindanao will face its end the soonest as we pray that justice is done,” he added. (MindaNews)