Canadian ambassador to PH makes plea for better protection for tourists

With the murder of another Canadian hostage committed by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, the Canadian government has urged the Philippine government to give better protection for foreign tourists visiting the country.

READ: Robert Hall, Canadian beheaded by Abu Sayyaf, called PH ‘his paradise on Earth’

It may be recalled that Canadian nationals Robert Hall and John Ridsdel — along with Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marithes Flor — were kidnapped from the Holiday Oceanview Samal Resort on Samal Island last Sep 21, 2015 by the Abu Sayyaf.

READ: Trudeau condemns Abu Sayyaf’s murder of Canadian national

Ridsdel was beheaded by the terrorist on Apr 25, while Hall met the same fate on Jun 13.

READ: Abu Sayyaf kills another Canadian hostage

“The Canadian government has condemned the murders but has likewise reiterated their policy not to deal with terrorists. Hall’s family expressed their support for their government’s ‘no ransom’ policy,” reports Manila Bulletin.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had stated, “The government of Canada will not and cannot pay ransoms for hostages to terrorist groups, as doing so would endanger the lives of more Canadians.”

Despite Canada’s brave front, it cannot be denied that these murders have shocked the international community.

During a Department of Tourism (DOT) press briefing in Makati City on Tue, Jun 14, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder stated, “We would like to see more foreign tourists to choose the Philippines as a destination of choice. And obviously security and safety for foreign tourists and community is very, very important. I cannot emphasize this enough that a safe and secure environment for foreigners who are visiting is necessary.”

For now, the outgoing administration of President Noynoy Aquino can’t do much about the matter. The admninistration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will be the one dealing with the Abu Sayyaf. In fact, the group had already brzenly challenged Duterte with the execution of Hall.

In a Philippine Daily Inquirer report, Abu Raami, the group’s spokesperson, had been quoted as saying, “Para kay Duterte, ang bagong Presidente, ito ay alamin mo kung ano gagawin namin sa Canadian.”

(“This is for Duterte, the new President. This is for you to know what we will do to the Canadian.”)

Filipinos are now hoping that Duterte will crush the terrorist group, whose criminal activities have long plagued the nation.

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