OTTAWA: The Canadian government said on Monday it was investigating reports that one of its nationals kidnapped by Islamic militants in the southern Philippines nearly nine months ago had been killed.
“The government of Canada is aware of reports that a Canadian citizen has been executed,” the Canadian foreign affairs ministry said in a statement. “We are pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information and are in close contact with Philippines authorities.”
Members of the notorious kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf gang said they would murder Robert Hall if they did not receive 300 million pesos ($6.5 million) ransom by Monday.
Hall was among four people kidnapped in September last year from aboard yachts at a tourist resort in the southern Philippines.
Another Canadian who was kidnapped at the same time, John Ridsdel, was beheaded in April after a similar ransom demand of 300 million pesos was not paid.
In the Philippines, authorities would not confirm media reports that Hall had been killed.
“No formal report has reached me. I cannot confirm that,” regional military spokesman Major Filemon Tan told AFP.
The Abu Sayyaf was believed to still be holding the two other people abducted — Hall’s Filipina girlfriend Marites Flor and Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad.