Military: 'High probability' body in Sulu belongs to Canadian Robert Hall

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

(File photo) The missing body was found almost three weeks after Canadian Robert Hall was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf group. The PNP earlier said it can still determine the body’s identity.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A headless body dug up in Sulu Saturday morning is believed to be that of Robert Hall, the Canadian hostage slain by the Abu Sayyaf.

Masasabi natin na malaki ang probability… and it resembles Hall (There’s a high probability that it is Hall’s),” Maj. Filemon Tan, spokesman for the military’s Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) told CNN Philippines.

Tan said the decaying, Caucasian-looking body was recovered by the Joint Task Force Sulu in Talipao town at around 11: 35 a.m, following information provided by the locals.

Related: Military: ASG may be hiding beheaded hostage’s body

He however explained that the body has to undergo DNA testing for it to be declared Hall’s. It will be turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO).

Through a DNA test, the PNP crime laboratory earlier confirmed that the head found in Jolo, Sulu on June 13 was Hall’s. The head was found in front of a church — hours after the Abu Sayyaf beheaded Hall.

The militants were asking for P300 million pesos in ransom for Hall’s release but both the Philippine and Canadian governments rejected the demand.

Also read: Trudeau: Canada will not give in to 'fear-mongering tactics'

Related: PH gov't condemns ‘brutal and senseless’ murder of ASG hostage

Chief Supt. Emmanuel Aranas, director of the PNP crime laboratory, earlier said they have the technology and capability to determine the body’s identity even if it is already decaying.

In its official statement, the military decried Hall’s beheading as a “barbaric act,” and once again vowed to put an end to the Abu Sayyaf.

“Focused military operations in the area are being undertaken to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf members and possibly rescue the remaining kidnap victim,” Tan said.

Hall was abducted from a resort on Samal Island in September 2015, along with fellow Canadian John Ridsdel, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Tess Flor.

Ridsdel was beheaded last April 25, Flor was released June 24, while Sekkingstad remains in the hands of the ASG. President Rodrigo Duterte said negotiations are underway for Sekkingstad’s release.

He also said there will soon be a "day of reckoning" with the Abu Sayyaf and promised to dismantle the group.

Read: Who are the Abu Sayyaf?

Watch: AFP: Crackdown on Abu Sayyaf carries on