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Bishop denounces hostage beheading

MANILA (Agencies): Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga has condemned the beheading of a Canadian tourist held hostage for months by the Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao.

The bishop, who chairs the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, expressed outrage over the execution of a 68-year old Canadian man, John Ridsdel, who was abducted from a resort along with three others in September last year.

“There is no justification for his killing which must be condemned as a criminal act of the highest degree,” Bishop Santos said to CBCP News.

 The bishop 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.

The bandit group had threatened to kill a hostage on the morning of April 25 if a 300 million peso ($50 million) ransom for each of the victims was not settled.

Ridsdel’s head was found along a street in Jolo, Sulu on the night of April 25 shortly after the deadline of the ransom had lapsed. 

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