Well known executive of TVI Pacific and its Philippines subsidiary TVIRD John Ridsdel has been executed and beheaded by Philippines terrorist group Abu Sayyaf (ASG). The group kidnapped the Canadian citizen, along with three others, last September and carried out the execution after no ransom was paid by the deadline.
The kidnapping took place on Samal Island off the southeast coast of Mindanao with the severed head found in Jolo, Sulu, on April 25.
On April 26 officials confirmed that John Ridsdel was executed. “We extend our sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government and to the family of Mr Ridsdel, who died at the hands of the ASG bandits,” the police and the military said in a joint statement.
The police report said two unidentified men aboard a motorcycle without a licence plate threw the severed head somewhere along Marina Street, Barangay Walled City, Jolo at around 7.35pm. It was wrapped in a plastic bag.
John Ridsdel was kidnapped in September 2015 along with fellow Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and a Filipina named Marithes ‘Tess’ Flor.
Abu Sayyaf initially asked for P1 billion for each of the four hostages, but lowered it to P300 million after moving the deadline from April 8 to April 25. The deadline lapsed at 3pm on April 25.
President Benigno Aquino III earlier ordered the police and military to exert all effort to rescue the victims following the deadline of the Abu Sayyaf. The government, however, maintained its no-ransom policy.
The three men appeared in a video that circulated in March, pleading to their governments to pay ransom within the one-month deadline set by their abductors – or the terrorists would kill them.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement condemning the killing.
He said, “I am outraged by the news that a Canadian citizen, John Ridsdel, held hostage in the Philippines since September 21, 2015, has been killed at the hands of his captors.
“Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers, and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage.”
He added, “The Government of Canada is committed to working with the Government of the Philippines and international partners to pursue those responsible for this heinous act and bring them to justice.”