Sister of beheaded Canadian: Trudeau failed hostages killed by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines

  • Page Views 6236
  • Bonice Thomas, a sister of Robert Hall, a Canadian beheaded in the Philippines by the Abu Sayyaf extremist group, is demanding an inquiry into the Canadian government’s efforts to free Hall and fellow Canadian John Ridsdel, who was also killed in captivity.

    Maclean’s magazine reported that Thomas wants an inquiry into how the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau handled the high-profile kidnapping case.

    Thomas said in the report that the Canadian government “literally did the least they possibly could” to help rescue her 66-year-old brother.

     

    Hall was abducted on September 21, 2015 from a luxury marina in the Philippines along with his Filipina girlfriend Marites Flor, Ridsdel, and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.

    Hall was executed on June 13. Ridsdel was beheaded weeks earlier.

    The Abu Sayyaf killed Hall and Ridsdel after repeated ransom deadlines passed without payment.

    Maclean’s quoted a September 21, 2016 Facebook post by Thomas to mark the anniversary of her brother’s abduction, saying Ottawa should be “held accountable for their inaction and apathy toward two Canadians in extreme peril,” and urged others to join her call for an inquiry.

    “In the last video that we saw of Robert—alive—he brokenheartedly said that he felt he had been abandoned by his government,” Thomas writes. “He was right. And it broke my heart too.”

    Ottawa does not pay ransoms to kidnappers as government policy.

    Macleans reported that in her Facebook post, Thomas said the Liberal government failed to do all it could to help save the hostages.

    “I and the rest of my family steadfastly agree with a no-ransom policy,” she writes. “We will not pay criminals to further their criminal activity. However, I assumed—as we all did—that we, our government—CANADA—would take immediate and meaningful action to secure the safety and release of two of our sons. We were wrong.”

    According to Maclean’s, Thomas spent “nine agonizing months” writing letter after letter to government agencies, Thomas says, but they received no concrete response, “aside from the occasional auto reply confirming receipt of my emails, and a snarky letter from the Defence Department saying I had the wrong department.” In the meantime, she says, Ottawa’s “bumbling and inaction” gave the kidnappers “the time they needed to sharpen their swords.”

    “I’m not a politician, nor scholar, and don’t pretend to know how one government engages another government, especially regarding crimes of this calibre, but I do know that our government literally did the least they possibly could to help my brother and the other hostages,” according to her post cited by Macleans.

    “Sadly, in hindsight, I see that Trudeau, [Global Affairs Minister Stéphane] Dion, the RCMP, and all other government offices involved in this file were in waaay [sic] over their heads and too focused on their single, incomplete thought—’We don’t pay ransom’—to have a plan, a strategy, or even any kind of template from which to work.”

    “I’m asking all of you,” Thomas appeals in the Facebook post, “to remove your polite Canadian pants and put on your kick-some-ass Canadian pants—join me in asking for, insisting on, demanding, accountability for our hostage policies and an inquiry into the actions our government took to save the lives of Robert Hall and John Ridsdel.”

    Thomas lives on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, where she works as the property manager of a lodge, according to Macleans.

    A spokesman for Global Affairs Canada released a prepared statement to Maclean’s: “We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of Robert Hall and John Ridsdel as we mark this difficult anniversary. We cannot begin to understand the terrible ordeal the family has endured, but recognize that this has been a devastating year for them. Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers, and these unnecessary deaths. These were acts of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage. We continue to work with the government of the Philippines and international partners to pursue those responsible for these heinous acts and to bring them to justice, however long it takes.”

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 22 February 2024
      5 days ago No comment

      Canada to open Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office in Manila

      Canada is opening its new Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office (IPAAO) in the Philippines. The IPAAO is expected to be inaugurated in Manila in February 2024 in a development coinciding with this year’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The ...

    • 15 February 2024
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Canada, Philippines ranked in global corruption index

      February 16, 2024 — Transparency International has released its latest Corruption Perception Index, which scores 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public-sector corruption. The Berlin-based anti-corruption group’s 2023 CPI scores 180 countries and territories, using a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being very clean ...

    • 08 February 2024
      3 weeks ago No comment

      Marcos-Duterte alliance splinters

      The rift between Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, has taken a turn for the worse. Philippine political analysts say in media reports that this may be end of the political alliance that swept Marcos Jr. to the presidency and Duterte’s daughter Sara as ...

    • 25 January 2024
      1 month ago No comment

      Tara na!: Filipinos go for Pierre Poilievre

      VANCOUVER – Members of the Filipino community showed their all-out support to the Conservative Party of Canada as their leader, Pierre Poilievre, held a meet and greet last January 22 at the Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre. Several Conservative MPs accompanied Poilievre as he talked about the latest issues and problems ...

    • 23 January 2024
      1 month ago No comment

      Rewind’ breaks domestic box office records

      MANILA — The 49th Metro Manila Film Fest entry “Rewind” is now the highest-grossing Filipino film in terms of domestic box office sales, amassing P815-million as of January 17. This surpasses the local box office records set by “Hello, Love, Goodbye” in 2019 and “The Hows of Us” in ...

    %d bloggers like this: