The pressure is on for Canadian and Philippine officials to apprehend those responsible for the beheading of a Canadian man Monday.
“Canada is determined to bring these terrorist criminals to justice and we are working with international allies, specifically the Philippines to ensure that these terrorists, these criminals will be brought to justice,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.
But Trudeau adamantly defended Canada’s policy of not paying ransoms, saying it would put the lives of millions of Canadians travelling and working abroad every year in danger.
The Philippine military came under increased scrutiny Tuesday to rescue more than 20 foreign hostages, including Canadian Robert Hall, after their Muslim extremist captors beheaded John Ridsdel, who had been held captive for seven months.
“Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage takers in this unnecessary death,” Trudeau said. “This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage.”
About 2,000 military personnel, backed by Huey and MG520 rocket-firing helicopters and artillery, are involved in the manhunt for the militants, who are believed to be hiding in Sulu’s mountainous Patikul town, military officials said.
According to Reuters, the Philippine army found a severed head on a remote island, some five hours after the Monday’s ransom deadline set by militants of the Abu Sayyaf terror group.
On Tuesday, Ridsdel was remembered by long-time friend and former Liberal MP Bob Rae.