By Hader Glang & Roy Ramos
ZAMBOANGA CITY, the Philippines (AA) – A spokesman for a Daesh-affiliated group in the Philippines’ Muslim south said Monday that the Abu Sayyaf executed a remaining Canadian hostage after their ransom deadline passed.
Abu Raami, the militant group’s designated spokesman told the Philippine Inquirer that they killed Robert Hall after a 600 million peso ($13 million) ransom failed to be paid before the 3 p.m. (0100GMT) deadline.
He said Hall’s body could be found somewhere in Jolo, the capital of the southern island province of Sulu, later in the day.
A Jolo-based police intelligence officer who requested anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with media told Anadolu Agency that Hall was beheaded by an Abu Sayyaf faction under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan somewhere in the village of Sinumaan in Talipao town.
Maj. Filemon Tan, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said he could not confirm the alleged execution.
“We don’t have reports yet coming from our units on the ground. Will update you as soon as we get data or reports from line units,” the Inquirer quoted him as saying.
In April, the Abu Sayyaf beheaded another Canadian, Robert Ridsdel, who had been abducted from Samal island alongside Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor last September.
The governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Mujiv Hataman, released a statement condemning the reported killing Monday.
"It has only been a week since Ramadan began, and it is appalling that this holy month we set aside for prayer and reflection has already been violated by extremists here and abroad, as they wage violence in the name of our faith,” he said.
“Extremists claim to follow the faith while they go against Islam’s message of peace and humanity,” he added. “Their betrayal of Islam knows no bounds that even in the most holy days of Ramadan, they turn a time meant for prayers and contemplation into days of fear and horror.”
Abu Sayyaf leader Sawadjaan has been blamed by authorities for the beheading of a Malaysian hostage in Sulu in November.
Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf group -- 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.