MANILA—The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines has called on the government to bring perpetrators of the slain a Canadian to justice that is “swift” and “heavy”.
“The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines strongly condemns the murder of John Ridsdel in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). We call on the Philippine government to bring the perpetrators to justice; justice that is swift and heavy,” it said in a statement.
“We are devastated by his senseless and grisly death at the hands of the Abu Sayyaf. John did not deserve such fate,” it added.
Ridsdel was one of four hostages taken by the Abu Sayyaf in Samal Island since last September. The kidnappers had issued a ransom deadline that lapsed Monday. His severed head was found on the same day in a plastic bag along a street in Jolo town.
The three remaining hostages — fellow Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sikkengstad, and Filipina Maritess Flor — are still being held by the ASG, along with other foreigners, including 14 crewmen of an Indonesian tugboat. Four Malaysian seamen are also being held.
President Benigno Aquino III has vowed to devote all his energy to eliminating the ASGs who beheaded the Canadian hostage.
“To the ASG, and whoever may aid or abet them, you have chosen only the language of force, and we will speak to you only in that language,” the President said in a statement.
“Casualties are to be expected. But what has to be of utmost importance is neutralizing the criminal activities of the ASG,” he noted.
The Chamber of Mines said that Ridsdel’s murder “must serve as a wake-up call for everyone and reawakens in us the commitment to help ensure peace and prosperity in Mindanao and the country as a whole.”
“John was well-aware of the dangers he faced in the Philippines having led a mining operation in Zamboanga del Norte for many years as a consultant for a local mining company. Despite the many risks to his safety, John loved the Philippines, choosing to retire in the country, appreciating its innate beauty and believing in its people. We condole with John’s family in this time of indescribable grief. And we are one with all countries in condemning terrorism and will continue to raise our voices against acts that impede on our freedom and our divine right to life,” it said.