Despite the second beheading of a Canadian national by the Abu Sayyaf, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remained firm that his government would “not pay ransoms for hostages to terrorist groups” and reiterated his commitment to “working with the Philippine government and international partners to pursue those responsible for these heinous acts and bring them to justice, however long it takes”.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that the severed head found inside a plastic bag at the compound of the Carmelite Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu Monday night, June 13, belonged to Robert Hall, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose was quoted as saying on radio on Tuesday, June 14.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement late Monday that there was “compelling reason to believe that reports to this effect are, unfortunately, true.”
“The vicious and brutal actions of the hostage-takers have led to a needless death. Canada holds the terrorist group who took him hostage fully responsible for this cold-blooded and senseless murder,” he added.
But Trudeau also reiterated terrorist hostage-takings only fuel more violence and instability, and Canada “will not give into their fear mongering tactics and despicable attitude toward the suffering of others.”
“This is precisely why the Government of Canada will not and cannot pay ransoms for hostages to terrorists groups, as doing so would endanger the lives of more Canadians… We are more committed than ever to working with the Government of the Philippines and international partners to pursue those responsible for these heinous acts and bring them to justice, however long it takes,” he added.
Hall was one of four hostages seized by the Abu Sayyaf bandits on Samal Island in late 2015.
Before Hall, the Abu Sayyaf also beheaded Canadian John Ridsdel last April and threatened to execute another hostage June 13 if ransom was not paid.