Peace Corps Teacher: ‘Bludgeoned to death’ in Philippines

19 04 2007

A grim picture is developing in the death or alleged killing of a US peace crops volunteer in the Philippines.

[]…Julia Campbell, the US Peace Corps volunteer who was found dead in a grave in Banaue, Ifugao, was bludgeoned by her assailant, ABS-CBN’s “Bandila” reported Thursday….”[] ABS-CBNNews

Police are searching for the husband of a woman who is last person to have been seen alive with Julia Campbell – who police believe is the man who was seen on two occasions and in US police terms would be described as a ‘person of interest’.

One: He was alleged to have been seen leaving the area hurriedly near the dry creek bed where her body was ‘intentionally buried’. – The same man being sought by police- was identified by three separate media reports as the husband of Grace Duntogan – who owns a small store in the area.

The same man it is alleged was reportedly seen carrying her backpack and hurriedly leaving the scene of a shallow grave where she was later discovered by Police, Army, and, civilian search teams.

Media reports from wire agencies and GMA.tv, ABS-CBNnews.com, and the Inquirer.net if put into context all point to one man – as at least having been the last person seen with her alive and also later seen hurriedly leaving her make-shift grave. all 734 news articles »

  1. Senior Supt. Raul Gonzales, Cordillera Administrative Region police chief, said that it appeared that Campbell was intentionally buried in the area where her body was found at a dry creek. “There was soil, sand and grass, so the burial was intentional,” Gonzales said.
  2. Police are seeking the husband of Grace Duntogan, 24, who recalled Campbell came to her store at around 3 p.m. on April 8 – she sold her a soft drink. Her husband was seen near her grave prior to it being discovered by a 13 yr boy now in police custody. Mr. Duntagum is nowhere to be found according to police Senior Supt. Pedro Ganir, police chief of Ifugao province,
  3. Campbell’s (’Julia’) was intentionally buried in the area where her body was found at a dry creek. “There was soil, sand and grass, so the burial was intentional,”- Senior Supt. Raul Gonzales, Cordillera Administrative Region police chief
  4. Police are attempting to locate a man who was reportedly seen carrying Julia Campbell’s backpack before the US Peace Corps volunteer disappeared on Easter Sunday.

In hindsight – considering locals statements in the area who claim tourism is a major source of income for them. Most do not believe either robbery or any other reason could be seen as the possible motive for Julia Campbell being killed.

A theory being raised is Campbell slipped and fell while being led by ‘a guide’. That fearing repercussions locals or a local buried her – hoping to hide the body until a time when search teams left the area. Knowing that they would be blamed by locals or fearing perhaps possible criminal problems.

Only a medico legal examination can truly tell – but- Diplomatic officials meddling is what should purely be criminal investigation – per local police in the area who are causing the delay in the reporting of actual scientific findings and ending speculation was at the insistence of US officials at the American embassy that a pathologist chosen from japan by the state department over advice of both US law enforcement officials based in the region and Philippine counterparts. There are FBI and Scotalnd Yard trained forensic exmainers avialble here.

Privately – many forces are at play worried that results of any investigation may affect local tourism in the area also international tourists who do bring in a lot of income to the local community.

Having grown up in a tourist town myself – I know the feeling whenever a crime or accident occurs involving a tourist.

it affects the entire local economy.

The longer the investigation results take and medical findings are released and results are given.

The entire village of Batad – not just one reisident is affected- the Banue community an entire region – not just an individual from there- stand accused of a ‘alleged crime’ and they too deserver the right to know what happened.

As well as the victims family and friends – this makes this tragedy a tougher issue for all parties and to the victim and her memory and good deeds of the past two years she did serving people in under-developed communities like the small village she tragically died in.

Entry Filed under: Arroyo, Giuliani, Bicol, filipino-american, ifugao, Julia Campbell, peace corps killed, philippines peace corps, philippine peace corps volunteer kiiled, fil-am, Makati, Filipino, philippines, Politics, News and politics, freedom of speech, ASEAN, free speech, peace corps, Manila, news

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Philippines: Alerts issued as one Volcano erupts and another shows signs ‘abnornality’

8 04 2007

Reports of Two volcano’s under tight watch south of Manila – in Sorsogon province Mt. Bulusan erupted with several ash eruptions later on in the day on Easter Sunday. While just South of Manila – Taal volcano – a landmark with it’s famous lake within extinct volcano crater that has an island with another lake within the crater of a active volcano

[ “… Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum reported that in Sorsogon Province, Mt. Bulusan exploded around 5:45 a.m., and sent ash up as high as 1.5 kilometers. Solidom added that several ash explosions occurred, spewing ash up as high as four kilometers,” Solidum added volcanic earthquakes were felt prior to the eruption. It is the fourth time that Mt. Bulusan erupted this year and the 14th since 2006.

Meanwhile – Phivolcs has raised the alert level at Taal Volcano a popular day trip and vacation spot where tens of thousands of tourists on Easter Holiday were told no trips would be allowed to shore areas where steam and sulphur discharges have been noted in Batangas Province some two hours drive south of the capitol and issued warning against venturing near the area.
Solidum said Taal is showing “abnormality” in the last few days. “The crater is hot – bubbling. No one should venture near the crater area. We have received reports of tourists venturing near the area, we hope they won’t do that,” he said. …”]

Reports:

» Bicol disaster units alerted for Bulusan

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» Easter Sunday alert: Bulusan explodes; Taal acting up, too

[” .. JUBAN, Sorsogon- At least 24 barangays (villages) were blanketed in ash following yet another explosion of Mount Bulusan early morning of Easter Sunday, … ‘]