MANILA, April 26, 2016— A Catholic Church official has condemned the beheading of a Canadian tourist held hostage for months by the Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga expressed outrage over the execution of 68-year old John Ridsdel who was abducted from a resort along with three others in September last year.
The bandit group had threatened to kill a hostage on April 25 if a Php300-million ransom for each of the victims was not settled.
“There is no justification for his killing which must be condemned as a criminal act of the highest degree,” said Santos, who chairs the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.
The prelate also expressed his condolences and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to Ridsdel’s loved ones.
“I enjoin all to pray for John and all the victims of terrorist groups everywhere. Let us pray for the end to violence. Let us pray for peace,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the responsibility for the murder “rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage.”
By his words, he assured Filipinos and more so those who work and reside in Canada of his and his country’s continued respect for them.
Ridsdel’s head was found was found along a street in Jolo, Sulu on Monday night. (CBCPNews)