Canadian PM condemns terrorist killing of Canadian hostage in Philippines

OTTAWA — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday condemned the heinous killing of Canadian John Ridsdel after he was held hostage for more than six months in the Philippines.

“This was an act of cold-blooded murder, and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage,” Justin Trudeau said a statement issued via his office. Trudeau is currently visiting Alberta, Canada.

Trudeau said the Canadian government will work with the Philippine government to bring those responsible to justice. He also offered deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ridsdel.

Ridsdel, 68, was the former chief operating officer of mining company TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of Canada’s TVI Pacific. He was captured along with three other people, including a Filipino woman, by gunmen in September 2015 from a marina on southern Samal Island.

The kidnappers reportedly demanded PHP300 million (some 6 million U.S dollars) for each of the foreign hostages, who were believed to have been taken to Jolo Island in Sulu, a jungle-clad province where the militants are believed to be holding several hostages.

Apart from Ridsdel, three other hostages included Robert Hall, a fellow Canadian, held by the Abu Sayyaf militants, who had issued a ransom deadline that lapsed earlier Monday morning.

There’s no immediate news about the other three being held hostage. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com