Monday, June 30, 2008

Life Sentence For Killer Of US Peace Corsp Volunteer Julia Campbell

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 30, 2008) – A Filipino wood sculptor accused of murdering United States Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell was found guilty by a local court and sentenced him Monday to life imprisonment.

Judge Ester Flor, of the Ifugao Regional Trial Court, sentenced Juan Dontugan and ordered him to pay Campbell’s family more than P40 million in various damages.

The 25-year old Dontugan previously confessed in the killing Campbell on April last year in his hometown in Ifugao province in northern Luzon.

Dontugan said he was walking on a mountain trail in the village of Batad in Ifugao’s Banaue town when somebody bumped him from behind. Thinking it was his enemy, Dontugan said he picked up a rock and hit Campbell several times.
He said he had enemies in the village and mistook the woman as one of them, but later found out that she was a foreigner.
Dontugan surrendered weeks after the murder after villagers, angered by the killing of Campbell, joined in the hunt for him. Soldiers and policemen discovered the decomposing body of the 40-year old Campbell in a shallow grave in Batad village.

Many villagers blamed Dontugan for the decline of the tourism industry in the province, previously one of the most visited in northern Philippines because of its majestic rice terraces and ethnic culture.Campbell, a former journalist, was reported missing since April 8 in Ifugao province where she intended to hike alone.
There are currently 137 Peace Corps volunteers serving in the Philippines.
More than 8,000 volunteers have served in the country since 1961, making it the second oldest Peace Corps program in the world.Campbell, from Fairfax, Virginia, had served as a college teacher in Legazpi in southern Luzon since she began her Peace Corps service in the Philippines in March 2005. (Mindanao Examiner)

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