John Ridsdel’s friend will push for release of other hostages

SASKATOON – The friend of a Canadian man executed by the militant group Abu Sayyaf said he will continue pushing for the release of the remaining hostages. Before John Ridsdel’s death, Don Kossick wrote letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other high-ranking federal cabinet ministers.

Kossick hopes that the public will continue putting pressure on the government to seek the release of the remaining hostages: Canadian Robert Hall, a Norwegian man and a Filipino woman.

READ MORE: John Ridsdel murder: Captors need ‘some sort of incentives’ to release hostages

They were kidnapped from a resort in the southern part of the Philippines about half a year earlier.

“I think it’s getting Canadians to talk about how do we protect aid workers or when they’re involved in other activities,” Kossick said.

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READ MORE: Timeline of John Ridsdel’s kidnapping and execution in the Philippines

Ridsdel was decapitated after ransom demands made by the terror group weren’t met.

“I know there’s a real hesitation about the money side, but I wouldn’t want money to mean that we’ve got another person being beheaded. So I’m really hoping they can figure out a way of doing it,” Kossick said.

Kossick wants to ensure Ridsdel’s death isn’t in vain. He’d known him since the 1970s.

“Gracious, very smart, I think a person who really believed in humanity. Part of that is why it’s so sad to see him being killed like that,” Kossick said.

READ MORE: Officials ‘determined’ to find terrorists who beheaded Canadian hostage John Ridsdel: Trudeau

The conditions of the other hostages aren’t known.

Prime Minister Trudeau called the killing a “heinous act,” and said Canada is working with the Philippines and other partners to resolve the situation.

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