October 23, 2016

Trudeau outraged by death of Canadian hostage in the Philippines

“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,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.[AP]

MANILA, Philippines — Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday expressed his outrage following the news that a Canadian citizen had been decapitated by Abu Sayyaf members in Jolo, Sulu.

The decapitated head of John Ridsdel, 68, was recovered on Monday. The police said that two men on a motorcycle left the victim’s head, which was placed in a plastic bag, along a street in Jolo and fled.

“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,” Trudeau said in a statement.

Ridsdel was one of two Canadians held captive by Abu Sayyaf militants in the Philippines since September 21, 2015.

Trudeau said that Canada is working with the Philippine government and its international partners to pursue those responsible for the “heinous act.”

“The Government of Canada’s first priority is the safety and security of its citizens. The Government of Canada will not comment or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts or endanger the safety of the remaining hostages,” the Canadian prime minister said.

Trudeau also expressed his condolences to Ridsdel’s family and friends. “They have endured a terrible ordeal, and this is a devastating moment for all of them,” he said.

Ridsdel was one of four tourists — including Canadian Robert Hall, a Norwegian man and a Filipino woman — who were kidnapped last September by Abu Sayyaf militants from a marina on Samal Island in the Davao Region.

The militants had threatened to kill one of the three male hostages if a large ransom was not paid by 3 p.m. on Monday.

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