Ottawa – The Honourable Tobias C. Enverga Jr., Senator from Ontario, reacted with horror upon learning of the execution of a Canadian hostage by the militant group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines.
“I am shocked and outraged by the senseless loss of a Canadian life at the hands of extremist militants,” said Senator Enverga in a statement. “I am hopeful that Canada will remain steadfast in providing humanitarian assistance and security programs to the Philippines, and that the cowardly actions of a few individuals will not deter our commitment to one of our closest friends in South East Asia.”
John Ridsdel was among the group of foreigners taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf from the Holiday Oceanview resort on Samal Island in southern Philippines on September 21 last year. A video released by the militants earlier this year indicated the group’s intention of beheading Ridsdel if the demand for ransom of PHP300 million (approximately $8.3 million) was not met by the imposed deadline of 3 p.m. on April 25. Ridsdel’s death was confirmed mere hours after the deadline lapsed.
“My deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. Ridsdel,” said Senator Enverga. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this terrible time.”
The fate of the other three hostages – Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Filipino Marites Flor – remains unknown.