Military: ASG may be hiding beheaded hostage’s body

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Canadian Robert Hall (L) and his Filipina partner Marites Flor (R) were kidnapped last September, along with Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Canadian John Ridsdel, from a tourist resort in Samal Island. Terror group Abu Sayyaf has been demanding ransom for their release. (file photo)

Zamboanga City (CNN Philippines) — The military believes the Abu Sayyaf Group  is hiding the body of beheaded Canadian hostage Robert Hall.

Maj. Filemon Tan, spokesman for the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), said Friday troops have been unable to find Hall’s remains despite information they have obtained from different sources.

"We went there. We tried to retrieve, pero wala na pong katawan. Siguro nililipat-lipat po (maybe it was transferred from one place to another)," Tan said.

He added the Abu Sayyaf may be hiding Hall’s body to humiliate the Philippine government.

He said it's also possible the bandits threw Hall’s body into the sea.

Related: AFP: Severed head believed to be ASG hostage found in Jolo

He said the search for the body would be easier if villagers cooperated with authorities.

Tan has said government forces have lacked cooperation from local residents.

"Not the whole community but in the community, there are some relatives na pwedeng magkanlong (who might provide shelter)," Tan said, referring to relatives of Abu Sayyaf members who may be providing sanctuary to fleeing bandits.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Tan said authorities found the head of a Caucasian male in front of a church in Jolo, Sulu late Monday, hours after the Abu Sayyaf decapitated Hall because no ransom was paid to spare his life.

Police have yet to confirm if the head belongs to Hall.

Also read: Family of beheaded Abu Sayyaf hostage backs Canada's ransom policy

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