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'They Will Execute Us': Hostages Beg for Help in the Philippines for Third Time

Filipino Islamist captors took two Canadian men, a Norwegian and a Filipino woman at gunpoint from a beach resort on Samal Island in the Philippines in September of 2015.
Screen grab of hostage video.

Two Canadians and a Norwegian are desperately pleading for their governments to listen to their Filipino Islamist captors, who've threatened to "do something terrible" if their demands aren't met within one month.

In a short clip released on Facebook on Thursday, the handcuffed hostages, sitting shirtless on the ground — along with a Filipino woman, reportedly the girlfriend of one of the men, also being held against her will — as armed guards stood threateningly behind them, had a clear message for anyone watching.


"Please do what's needed to meet our demands or they will kill me," said John Ridsdel, a Canadian mining consultant, with a machete being held to his neck. "They will execute us."

Related: These Filipino Jihadists Want $100M to Release Hostages Abducted at Resort

It's the third appeal of its kind from the militants, who took the men at gunpoint from a beach resort on Samal Island in the Philippines in September of 2015.

The other Canadian in the video, Robert Hall, said they were being held by Abu Sayyaf, a group listed as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government that recently pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State.

Although he didn't know the amount the kidnappers were asking for, he had harsher words for his government.

"I don't know what it is, but the Canadian government has got to get off its ass and do what is necessary to get us out of here soon," he said, as Ridsdel moaned in fear beside him. "We have one month before this happens."

Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, the last to make his appeal, said they were being held on Abu Sayyaf-controlled Jolo island.

Related: Canadian Hostages Snatched from Philippine Resort Plead for Lives in Video

A masked spokesperson, the only one to cover his face out of five others in the video, warned if the April 8 deadline deadline wasn't met, "We will do something terrible against these captives."

To close the video, he and the others chanted "God is Great" in Arabic, raising their weapons high into the air.


While no demands were listed in the latest video, in November, the militants had asked for $100 million in ransom and that military operations and artillery attacks against them be stopped.

Other foreigners, including people from the Netherlands, Japan, and Italy, are also reportedly being held captive by Abu Sayyaf, which has been known to kidnap foreigners and ask for millions of dollars in ransom for nearly 20 years.

According to Public Safety Canada, the militant group, which is responsible for a 2004 bombing of passenger ferry that killed over 100 people, aims to establish an Islamic state governed by Sharia law in the Philippines.

But the group is known to use terrorism primarily for profit, Public Safety states.

"Kidnap-for-ransom, guerrilla warfare, mass-casualty bombings and beheadings are particularly favored tactics."

Hilary Beaumont contributed reporting. 

Follow Tamara Khandaker on Twitter: @anima_tk