Philippine condemns killing of Canadian man

Philippine President, Benigno Aquino.

The Philippine President, Benigno Aquino has condemned the “brutal and senseless murder” of a Canadian man by Abu Sayyaf militants.

Robert Hall was kidnapped from a marina near the city of Davao by the Islamist group in September along with his Filipina partner, Marites Flor, Norwegian, Kjartan Sekkingstad and Canadian, John Ridsdel.

Fellow Canadian Mr. Ridsdel was beheaded on April 25 by the group after a multi-million dollar ransom deadline expired.

In a statement, outgoing Philippines President, Aquino confirmed the killing.

“This latest monstrous crime serves to strengthen our government’s resolve to put an end to this reign of terror and banditry,” he said.

Last month, a video emerged showing the three hostages pleading for their governments to meet the captors’ demands or they would also be executed.

The Philippine and Canadian governments are opposed to paying ransoms for hostages.

The Philippines have launched military operations against the militant group.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said in a statement that Canada “will not give into their fear mongering tactics and despicable attitude toward the suffering of others.”

Abu Sayyaf is still holding several captives, including a Dutch birdwatcher taken in 2012.

One of smallest but most radical of Islamist separatist groups in southern Philippines, its name means “bearer of the sword” in Arabic.

It split from the larger Moro National Liberation Front in 1991. Membership is said to number in the low hundreds.

The group has been agitating for the creation of an independent Islamic state in predominantly Catholic Philippines and uses tactics such as hostage-taking and bombings to pressure the government.

Several of its factions have pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.