Saturday, July 2, 2016

TRAVEL WARNING TO the Philippines: Body of beheaded Canadian found in Sulu

Robert Hall beheaded 20 days ago by Daesh-affiliated group in Sulu in southern Philippines

Government troops have recovered what is believed to be the missing body of Canadian kidnap victim Robert Hall, who was beheaded 20 days ago by a Daesh-affiliated group in Sulu in the southern Philippines.

Major Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said Hall's decaying corpse was dug up and recovered by troops in Talipao town and brought to their regional headquarters.

"It was discovered by local residents who informed authorities of the body," Tan added.

Hall was kidnapped with fellow Canadian John Ridsdel, Filipina Marites Flor -- since released -- and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad from the Ocean View Resort in Barangay Camudmud, Samal City in Davao del Norte Sept. 21, 2015.

Ridsdel was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf April 25 and Hall beheaded June 13 after ransom deadlines lapsed.

Hall's head was recovered by civilians in front of the gate of the Jolo Cathedral.

"Sekkingstad is the only remaining Samal Island kidnap victim," Tan added.

The new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is negotiating the release of the Norwegian captive.

Aside from the Norwegian, the Abu Sayyaf is also holding Dutchman Elwood Horn, seven Indonesian sailors kidnapped June 22, and around five locals.

Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.

It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.



1 comment:

  1. • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines due to the high threat of a terrorist attack and the high level of crime. You should pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor the media and other sources about possible new security risks. Seek specific advice for the locations you intend to visit.
    • There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks and violent crime in the Philippines, including in Manila, other major cities and many rural areas. You should exercise particular caution around locations that have a low level of protective security and places known to be possible terrorist targets. See Safety and security.
    • We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to eastern Mindanao due to the very high levels of violent crime and the high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping (this includes the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental).
    • We advise you not to travel to central and western Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula and the Sulu Archipelago and in the southern Sulu Sea area, due to the very high threat of kidnapping, terrorist attack, violent crime and violent clashes between armed groups (this includes the provinces of Maguindanao, Sarangani, Sultan Kudurat, North Cotabato, South Cotobato, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi Tawi).
    • There is a very high threat of kidnapping in the southern Philippines, especially at coastal resorts and isolated coastal locations. The threat is highest along the Zamboanga peninsula and in the Sulu Archipelago. Groups based in the Sulu Archipelago have demonstrated the capability to carry out attacks at locations around Mindanao and in eastern Malaysia.
    • Recent attacks have also created concerns that these groups have the capability to target locations frequented by tourists in southern Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor. See Safety and security.
    • The typhoon season normally runs from late May to December. This is also the rainy season when tropical storms, flooding and landslides may occur.