Incumbent President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III chose not to push through attending a business event after reports on the killing of Canadian National Robert Hall by the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu, the Palace said.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the government is still verifying the report saying that Hall has been executed by the group.
“President Aquino canceled his appearance at the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry)-sponsored event this afternoon to receive updates from the field pertaining to the status of foreign hostages in Sulu which the AFP and the PNP are still in the process of verifying,” Coloma said in a text message to members of the media.
Aquino planned to attend the launching of a contact center facility located at the Mall of Asia (MOA). Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal delivered the speech of PNoy.
Aquino was supposed to attend the launch of a contact center facility at the Mall of Asia. His speech was instead delivered by Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal.
Hall, one of the three captives of the Abu Sayyaf, was killed in Sulu on Monday afternoon following the expiration of the 3 p.m. deadline for the payment of the 600 million peso ransom.
Abu Raami, the spokesman of the Abu Sayyad, said via phone that they killed Canadian Robert Hall whose body would be found in Jolo town.
“I cannot confirm or deny it. We don’t have reports yet coming from our units on the ground. Will update you as soon as we get data or reports from line units,” Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Major Filemon Tan
The Islamic group National Ulama Conference of the Philippines criticized the local government officials for allegedly being irresponsible in ensuring the safe discharge of the captives.
“We are saddened, too, by the insensitivity of the government, especially the LGUs from regional to provincial to municipal to barangay, and their lack of cooperation with the PNP and the AFP to eliminate this terrorist group,” the group said.