PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has ordered the security forces to bring to justice the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which is responsible for the beheading of a Canadian mining executive.
Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace also extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government and to the family of John Ridsdel who died in the hands of the ASG bandits. [READ: Canadian man decapitated by Abu Sayyafs]
"The President has directed the security forces to apply the full force of the law to bring these criminals to justice," said Coloma in a statement.
"There will be no let-up in the resolute efforts of the joint PNP-AFP (Philippine National Police-Armed Forces of the Philippines) task group in pursuing intensive and wide-ranging military and law enforcement operations to neutralize these lawless elements and thwart further threats to peace and security," Coloma stressed.
Ridsdel was one of the four tourists, including another Canadian, a Norwegian, and a Filipina, abducted by the ASG from a resort in Samal Island in September last year.
"We support our brave men in uniform – some of whom have sacrificed life and limb – who remain relentless in rescuing the remaining hostages and bringing these nefarious elements to justice," said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a separate statement.
The bandits reportedly demanded P300 million ransom for each foreign hostage. (SDR/CVB/Sunnex)