Canadian-hostage-killed-in-Philippines-after-ransom-deadline-passes-Trudeau-outraged. CALGARY, Alberta, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed outrage and pledged justice Monday after he learned that a Calgary man was killed by terrorist militants holding him captive in the Philippines after a ransom deadline expired.
John Ridsdel, a former Canadian journalist, was one of four hostages taken by Abu Sayyaf militants in September and held for months as the group reportedly demanded about $20 million in ransom for their release.
Monday, the latest deadline expired and it appears the militants killed Ridsdel. The conditions of the other three, which include another Canadian man, Robert Hall, were not immediately known.
“I am outraged by the news that a Canadian citizen, John Ridsdel, held hostage in the Philippines since Sept. 21, 2015, has been killed at the hands of his captors,” Trudeau said Monday. “This was an act of cold-blooded murder, and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage.”
“It’s hard. It’s just very hard,” former Liberal MP Bob Rae, who has been in regular contact with Ridsdel’s family, said. “I’ve been involved behind the scenes for the last six months trying to find a solution and it’s been very painful.”
The men’s captors had threatened to behead them if the ransoms were not paid. The Philippine government said it had been planning to rescue the captives, which also include a Filipino woman and Norwegian man, Kjartan Sekkingstad.
Ridsdel, 68, was a reporter and producer in Calgary during the 1970s and is now a semi-retired mining executive, the CBC reported.
The hostages were abducted from Samal Island by nearly a dozen militants, posing as tourists, and authorities believe they were taken to the jungles of Jolo Island.
“Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers in this unnecessary death,” Trudeau added. “The government of Canada is committed to working with the government of [the] Philippines and international partners to pursue those responsible for this heinous act and bring them to justice.”
By Doug G. Ware