MANILA, Philippines – Some Philippine church officials expressed outrage and sadness over the beheading of a Canadian hostage in the restive southern part of the country, where they say lasting peace needs to be addressed.
Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim separatist group, had threatened to behead two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipina if their ransom demand of $6.4 million (U.S.) for each hostage was not met by an April 25 deadline. The Philippine military as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the decapitation April 25 of John Ridsdel, a former mining consultant from Calgary, who had been vacationing on Samal Island in the central south of Mindanao when the four were abducted in September.
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao offered condolences to Ridsdel's family.
"This act is certainly vicious, heartless and should not be condoned at all," he said. "In fact, we hope that this kind of terrorism by preying on innocent victims should be stopped as much as possible."
Abu Sayyaf, notorious for kidnapping people and holding them for ransom, is based in western Mindanao, where the country's largest concentration of Muslims has been on a quest for self-determination.
This article continues at [The Catholic Register] Philippine Church officials outraged over beheading of Canadian Ridsdel