The apparent execution comes after Abu Sayyaf released a “final” video of the three hostages pleading with Filipino President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and their embassies for assistance.
The video showed Flor wearing a headscarf, Hall and Sekkingstad addressing Duterte in a local dialect, according to jihadist monitoring group SITE Intelligence.
The hostage situation is seen as a test of Duterte’s pledge to crack down on militant activity.
Even though he has not yet been inaugurated, Duterte apologized to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over Ridsdel’s execution, vowing to crack down on militancy in his country.
“You can rest assured that when the time comes, we will be able to apprehend the criminals and exact justice,” he promised Trudeau.
Some members of Abu Sayyaf pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014, though the connection between the groups remain tenuous.
In the video, however, the male hostages were pictured wearing orange T-shirts, mirroring ISIS videos in which hostages are forced to wear orange jumpsuits in a grim reference to prisoners at Guantanamo, the U.S.’ controversial military prison in Cuba.
Trudeau said that today “marks yet another difficult day for Canada and for Canadians as we grieve as a nation for the loss of both John Ridsdel, who was killed on April 25, and Robert Hall.”
“With the tragic loss of two Canadians, I want to reiterate that terrorist hostage-takings only fuel more violence and instability. Canada will not give into their fear-mongering tactics and despicable attitude toward the suffering of others,” Trudeau said.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Hall. They have suffered a terrible loss, and this is a devastating moment for them.”