- Family of Canadian slain by Abu Sayyaf said he loved the Philippines
- They said he considered it his home, was very much attached to the locals
- They also agreed with their gov’t’s decision not to pay any ransom for his release
MANILA, Philippines – The family of the Canadian beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf has released a statement describing his love for the country he considered his second home.
According to Richard Hall’s family, the retired expatriate loved everything about the Philippines and was looking to spend the rest of his life here before it was abruptly cut short by the bandit group.
“He loved everything about the Philippines. The people, he said, are warm and gracious. He took an active interest in his community and his neighbors, and coached a local soccer team,” the Philippine Star quoted the family as saying.
The family in particular mentioned Davao City where Hall lived with his girlfriend Marites Flor as being particularly close to his heart.
“With its mild weather, friendly people and in the company of other expats, he knew that he had found his home,” the family said.
At the same time, the Hall family said they agreed with their government’s decision not to pay any ransom to the Abu Sayyaf.
“Our family, even in our darkest hour, agrees wholeheartedly with Canada’s policy of not paying ransom to those who would seek to undermine the fundamental values with which my father lived his life,” they said. “We stand with the ideals that built this country: strength of character; resilience of spirit; and refusal to succumb to the demands of the wretched, in order to satisfy the bloodlust of the weak.”