Army general quits after Canadian beheading

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The brigade commander of Army troops in Sulu resigned on Tuesday, April 26, in the wake of the beheading of a Canadian hostage, Rappler learned.

Brigadier General Alan Arrojado tendered his resignation from his post Tuesday evening, two sources told Rappler on Wednesday, April 27. He said in his resignation letter that he was quitting due to "conflict [over] the approach in addressing the ASG threats in Sulu," referring to the Abu Sayyaf Group, according to sources.

Replacing Arrojado is a younger officer, Colonel Jose Faustino, former commander of the Army's 35th infantry battalion.

The move came a day after the Abu Sayyaf beheaded one of their foreign hostages, Canadian John Ridsdel, who was kidnapped in September 2015 along with 3 others on Samal Island in Davao.

Ransom talks for Ridsdel’s release broke down after the Abu Sayyaf extended its deadline twice. President Benigno Aquino III ordered the military to attack Abu Sayyaf camps before the April 25 ultimatum set by the kidnappers.

The Abu Sayyaf however beheaded Ridsdel on Monday afternoon, and threw his head, wrapped in plastic, at a street corner in Jolo Monday evening. The murder triggered outrage from Philippine authorities, Canada and the rest of the world.

Sulu has not been kind to Arrojado. 

On April 5 this year, he was sacked as commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu that supervised all security operations in the province, but he retained his post as 501st brigade commander. 

The Abu Sayyaf is holding at least 22 foreign hostages in Sulu. (READ: Waiting to be freed: 22 foreign hostages– Rappler.com