Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on the likely death of Robert Hall. “It is with deep sadness that I have reason to believe that a Canadian citizen, Robert Hall, held hostage in the Philippines since September 21, 2015 has been killed by his captors,” Trudeau said.
Philippine news website Rappler reports having confirmed it through an intelligence agent. “While we are working closely with authorities in the Philippines to formally confirm Mr. Hall’s death, we have compelling reason to believe that reports to this effect are, unfortunately, true,” Trudeau said. Separate media reports claim confirmation that a beheading took place.
Hall was one of a group of multinational hostages being held by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. The group reportedly demanded a ransom of approximately $8 million CDN be delivered by 3pm local time June 13, 2016. The deadline lapsed without payment of the ransom.
This is the second Canadian hostage killed by Abu Sayyaf. John Ridsdel was killed April 25, 2016. Ridsdel’s remains were found in Jolo City, Jolo Island following the deadline for his ransom demand.
Hall was born in Calgary. Media reports label him an adventurer. He bought a sailboat, and sailed to the Philippines last fall before being taken hostage. He was 50 years old.
Update: 11pm EDT- Multiple media reports say Robert Hall has died. Philippines’ President Benigino Aquino confirmed it in a statement. “We strongly condemn the brutal, and senseless murder of Mr. Robert Hall, a Canadian,” he said through Spokesperson Hermino Coloma. Hall’s severed head was found near the Jolo cathedral 1,000 km’s south of Manila.