Canadians want more action from the govt after murder of Abu Sayyaf hostage

By Quay Evano, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

CALGARY, Alberta – The murder of John Ridsdel, the Canadian who was held captive since September last year by Abu Sayyaf has shocked the whole of Canada, especially the City of Calgary where he used to live and worked as a journalist for many years.

Canadians came together and held a vigil to offer prayers and support to the family of Ridsdel. Canadians want the Philippine and Canadian governments to do something for the other three hostages held by the Islamic militant group.

Many Calgarians were shocked and angry at the Canadian government for not doing enough to save the life of Ridsdel.

Alberta Health Services worker and vigil organizer Merle Terlesky said its worrisome seeing not much has been done by the federal government, especially since Ridsdel was held captive since September last year.

“Without sounding too political, what becomes abundantly clear is that our Prime Minister’s policy of appeasing ISIS and such is not working,” said Terlesky. “We stopped the bombing in Iraq or in Syria and other targets and what has that accomplished? We still have a dead Canadian and maybe another one who is held captive.”

Pastor Artur Pawloski, who was invited to lead the prayer for Ridsdel’s family and the other hostages, believes that the Canadian government should do more on the war on terrorism and protect its people against Islamic extremism.

“We expect from the politicians to be vocal about what we care about,” said Pawloski. “We elected them to protect us and to be our voice. I would say it’s a shame on the government part that they are not willing to be our voice and they are playing this–I believe–garbage political correctness.”

In his official statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the heinous act.

“This was an act of cold-blooded murder,” said Trudeau. “Responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage.”

Filipinos in Calgary were also saddened with the murder of their fellow Calgarian. Now they are worried that the three other hostages might suffer the same fate.

“As a Filipino-Calgarian, we mourn his death,” said Nelly Alcaraz of Migrante Alberta. “It could have been prevented had the two governments intervened properly in order to save his life.”

Another vigil rally is being planned by the organizers to pray for the safe release of the other hostages.

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  • Santi Del Mundo
    16 June 2016 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    It’s been awhile since these Canadian tourists were taken hostage, isn’t it? Don’t you think this is sign of incompetence? Peenoy seems to be confused when he’s talking about this situation. He mentioned about martial law, but immediately withdrew himself worrying that people would sympathize the Abu Sayyad? The problem is that people that cried against martial law were more worried someone will take away their rice bowl. The fact and the matter is that during martial law, the terrorist organization in Mindanao did not exist…they resided in foreign countries trying to operate…Now, they have control in most areas in Mindanao…and Peenoy does not know what to do…

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