OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday it was “likely” that a Canadian kidnapped by Islamic militants in the southern Philippines nearly nine months ago has been killed.
“It is with deep sadness that I have reason to believe that a Canadian citizen, Robert Hall, held hostage in the Philippines since Sept. 21, 2015, has been killed by his captors,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Members of the notorious kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf gang said they would murder Hall if they did not receive 300 million pesos ($6.5 million) ransom by Monday.
“While Canadian officials are working closely with authorities in the Philippines to formally confirm Mr. Hall’s death, we have compelling reason to believe that reports to this effect are, unfortunately, true,” Trudeau said. “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.”
Hall was among four people abducted in September last year from aboard yachts at a tourist resort in the southern Philippines.
Another Canadian who was abducted at the same time, John Ridsdel, was beheaded in April after a similar ransom demand of 300 million pesos was not paid. AFP