Missing in Ifugao: Julia Campbell, US Peace Corps Volunteer

Read Julia’s blog here.
Watch video updates here.
Read updates on the case against Juan Duntugan (People vs. Duntugan) here.

UPDATE 18: The Philippine Star has a report on the memorial held for Julia in Fairfax, Virginia: “Between 250 and 300 people, mostly friends and relatives and Peace Corps colleagues including Karl Beck, US Peace Corps Director to Manila, attended the memorial service. Close family members wore leis around their necks to commemorate the time she spent in Hawaii where she attended middle school.”

Ed Morris, Julia’s brother in law, who made the eulogy had this to say: “Julia, you were not one to attempt to influence world events, but today two nations on opposite sides of our world mourn your loss.” Read the article here. John Cutter also has an account on the memorial service.

UPDATE 17: You might want to read our thoughts on Juan Dontogan’s surrender and confession here. Meanwhile, here’s an update from ABS-CBN which, according to Dontogan, is the answer to the question “Why?”: The 25-year old woodcarver said he was on his way to Batad town center last April 8 when he was bumped from behind, causing clothes in a sack he was carrying to be thrown off the mud.

Thinking it was his neighbor with whom he has a running feud, Duntugan bludgeoned the person who bumped him. “It was too late when I saw it was a tourist,” Duntugan said in the vernacular. “Why would I want to hurt a tourist when it is from them that we get our livelihood.”

UPDATE 16 (28 April): Dontogan apologizes for killing Julia Campbell. He says he is ready to face the consequences of the crime he committed. A homicide case will be filed against him. Video of Dontogan under police custody here.

Dontogan confesses to killing Campbell. Quote: “I neither planned to kill nor hurt Ms Campbell. Yes, I admit, I killed her. But it never crossed my mind, I never thought of doing whatever it is they think I did. That’s not true.” More here.

UPDATE 14 (27 April):
Juan Dontogan turned himself over to police authorities today (3:20 pm). He is currently undergoing tactical interrogation. More here.

Meanwhile, a more detailed examination by police of the earlier pieces of evidence that were hoped to link Dontogan to Campbell’s death yielded negative results. ABS-CBN reports: Blood spots” earlier reported found on the pants of principal suspect Juan Dontugan and the pestle that probers said could have been used in the killing of Campbell were not actually blood. More here.

UPDATE 13 (26 April): Campbell’s remains cremated this morning. Her ashes will be brought to the U.S. Embassy, then sent to her family in the U.S. More from ABS-CBN.

UPDATE 12 (25 April): Police find Campbell’s camera near the place where she was buried. They hope that photos in the camera will yield clues that could help solve her death. Meanwhile two other kids, who reportedly saw the suspect Juan Dontogan (or Dontugan/Dontungan) with Julia’s bag, are added to the witness list. More here. Campbell’s hat and umbrella were also found inside Dontogan’s house. Policemen speculate that his mother may have hid evidence linking her son to Julia’s death. More here.

Police authorities theorize that more than one person may have attacked Julia based on the results of her autopsy and other pieces of evidence. GMA-7 lists the evidence that have been gathered so far.

At left is a photo of Dontogan which was circulated by the police. You can also watch a video version of the suspect’s photos here [from the :19 to :41 mark].

Now, although we want whoever is responsible for Julia’s death to be meted the appropriate punishment, it is unfortunate that headline writers are now referring to Dontogan as the killer. (Read here and here.). Maybe he killed Julia. Maybe he did not. He is the prime suspect but it has not yet been established that he indeed killed Julia. In fact, the pieces of evidence that have come out so far would only be considered as circumstantial evidence. They do not really pin him down as the killer. So we hope that the media stop labeling Dontogan as the killer. If, in the future, he is convicted of killing Julia or if he outrightly confesses that he did, then by all means we will all tag him as the killer. But, at this stage, I hope that the media is a little more careful.

Meanwhile, residents of Donsol, Sorsogon where Julia had her first placement in the country recall fond memories of her: “Almost everyone knew and liked her because she was friendly and always smiling. She greeted the people with a smile and a hello. She felt safe here.” Read more here.

UPDATE 11 (23 April): More info on the man the police is now looking for in relation to Campbell’s death: Juan Dontogan (or Dontugan or Dontungan), 25 years old, 5’7″ in height, fair complexion, and medium-built. He is a woodcarver and reportedly also lives in Km. 6, Brgy. Cruz, La-Trinidad Benguet. Source here.

UPDATE 10 (21 April):
Initial autopsy results conclude that Julia died due to “multiple blunt traumatic injury to head.” Meanwhile, Grace Dontogan, the wife of the man the police is now trying to find, denies allegations that her husband, Juan, is involved with Julia’s death. She also asks the police to carefully review their evidence which they claim points to her husband. [You can watch a Tagalog newscast on Grace here].

Meanwhile, in a phone interview with GMA-7’s Saksi, Julia’s sister Geary Campbell Morris expresses appreciation for the Filipinos’ outpouring of support for their family. Asked to respond to Sec. Raul Gonzales’ remarks that Julia was careless and irresponsible for going to Banaue alone, Geary says: “Julia was an independent person… walking in a beautiful area. When I saw the pictures initially, I said ‘Why would she not go there?'” Geary also expressed hopes of eventually visiting Banaue to walk where Julia walked.

You can watch the video here. Be warned that in the video, Vicky Morales asks some silly questions (“Does she have a boyfriend?”) or questions that she should have found out in advance (“What prompted her to join the Peace Corps?”). Geeze, Vicky!

It turns out that the suspect is not actually under police custody. Our apologies for this error. The problem is that police authorities are not coordinating their communication efforts; practically every one of them is yakking with alacrity and their comments and speculations get reported in the media and are picked up by bloggers like us.

But the following are established: the suspect is a local resident who disappeared after reports of Julia’s disappearance came out, a bloodstained piece of wood (which may or may not be human blood and which may or may not have been used to hit Julia) was recovered from his home, and police authorities are now looking for him and have also asked a Banaue court to issue a search warrant so they could search his home. Read ABS-CBN report here.

Our two cents: We agree with a prosecutor’s assessment here that the police needs to build a stronger case. But the investigation is still in its early stage so its understandable if they have very little to show. We do hope that they will do a thorough job in establishing whether this is an accident, a homicide, or a murder. And that if it is either a homicide or a murder, that the culprit will be brought to justice.

UPDATE 8 (20 April): Suspect, a Batad resident, is now in custody. Police officer: “We recovered a piece of wood with bloodstains at the vicinity of the suspect’s home. We believe that this was the instrument used in hitting Julia.” More here.

Our two cents: We hope that the police is doing a thorough job on this case and is not, as happened in other high profile cases, just arresting people for the sake of presenting a suspect.

You might want to read the blogs of people who know Campbell: New Yorkian Afoot (who was with Julia in Sagada before she went to Banaue); Page’s Adventure (her fellow volunteer in Albay); There and Back Again (a PC volunteer’s blog); and My Year of Turning 50 (her co-worker in New York in the 1990’s).

The witness earlier mentioned by the police who may be able to shed light on Julia’s death is a thirteen year old boy who reportedly saw a man in the area where Julia’s body was found. The man “allegedly rushed down to a dry creek when he realized the boy had spotted him”. It may not be a very weighty evidence but it is a start. Police authorities are now looking for the man.

UPDATE 5: Oh my God! Now the Philippine Justice Secretary is blaming the victim. Damn! This guy should be fired. This tragedy is embarrassing enough for the country; the last thing we want is a stupid and insensitive quote from a senile government official. Sec. Raul Gonzales, please shut up your shitty mouth!

Gonzales’ stupid quote: “She was a little irresponsible. Why would she walk alone in this remote mountain? I think, it would not have happened. She was careless that she took a lonely walk in this deserted area. Maybe she was confident.” Source: GMA News.

Message to Gonzales: Things like this could happen to anyone even if s/he is the most careful person in the world. Please STFU.

UPDATE 4 (19 April): U.S. embassy officials confirm that the body found in Ifugao is indeed Campbell’s. Campbell is now in Manila and was brought to a funeral parlor for autopsy to determine the cause of her death. She will be flown to the U.S. after the autopsy is conducted. Source: GMANews TV (here and here).

UPDATE 3: Police authorities now have a witness who might be able to shed light on the death of Julia Campbell. Robbery eyed as the most likely motive behind her death. More here.

UPDATE 2: Police authorities confirm that the body found in Ifugao is Campbell’s; it will be airlifted to Manila on Thursday, April 19. Police will now treat the case as a “crime incident”. Police officer: “There is a probability that there was foul play.” Source: AP Report via Forbes.com. Our condolences to Julia’s family.

UPDATE 1 (April 18): Troops find body believed to be Julia Campbell’s. From GMA News:

Army troopers on Wednesday found the body of US Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell in Barangay Battad, Banaue town in Ifugao province.

In a text message to reporters, 5th Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Rodrigo Maclang said that Campbell’s body was found around 10:30 a.m.

No other details were immediately made available. Read more here.

We’re posting this in case some of our readers from Ifugao would have, by any chance, any helpful information regarding this missing Peace Corps volunteer.

From ABS-CBN News:

A volunteer for the United States Peace Corps (USPC) had gone missing while hiking in Ifugao Province, ABS-CBN News reported Friday. The US embassy in Manila is seeking assistance and any information that would lead to the whereabouts of Julia Campbell. It added that a reward is being offered to anyone who may have details of her location.

Campbell, who served as a college teacher in Legazpi City, Albay since she began her USPC service in the country in March 2005, was last seen Sunday (April 8) in Banaue, Ifugao province. The 40-year-old Caucasian American stands 5’7″, sports a blonde hair and wears eyeglasses.

The embassy said she intended to hike alone near Batad, 1.5 kilometers east of Banaue town. It was not clear whether the US embassy had sought the help of the Philippine government to locate Campbell.

Anyone who has seen Campbell may contact John Borja, Safety and Security Officer of the Peace Corps-Philippines at 0920-900-5270 or contact the US embassy in Manila at (02) 528-6300.

If I am not mistaken, Julia Campbell has a blog here. Like other blogs written by Peace Corps volunteers, her blog is very interesting because it presents the perspective of a non-Filipino trying to live the ordinary Filipino life. We hope she is okay.

RELATED POST: Video Updates on the Campbell Case.

57 thoughts on “Missing in Ifugao: Julia Campbell, US Peace Corps Volunteer”

  1. Hope she is alive. It’s been over a month since last seen. If she is found dead (which we are hoping not the case), would be another Black Mark for CAR!!


  2. Hi TruBlue,
    Mea culpa, that should have been April 8 not March 8. I changed the date na. I’m with you in hoping that she is okay.

  3. Hi Bill,

    I hope it won’t turn to be a flashback of an incident that happened some two decades ago – while I was still there- when an Australian tourist was robbed and killed.

    Mandy M. Dornagon, Esq.

  4. she’s a teacher of mine here in albay..she’s a good teacher and a good buddy, too..let’s pray that she’s fine and that he be found sooner live and in good shape. thanks!

  5. i hope with or without award, anyone who can see her will report her whereabouts..let’s not live in rewards, let’s live in compassion.
    let’s pray for her safety.

  6. HI Mandy,
    I’m with you in hoping that that’s not what happened.

    Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for visiting and for adding your comment. I’m sure she has positively touched some lives there in Albay. Yeah, let’s hope that she is found and doing okay.

    I second your comment about living in compassion. I’m sure people are willing to help in this case without thinking of any reward. The best reward, I think, is the thought that one helped another person in need. Thanks again.

  7. I am one of nine cousin’s Julia has here in the States and we are worried sick to say the least. It is a very helpless feeling being so far away and only catching glimpses of news stories concerning her disapearance. We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers offered around the world for her safe return.

  8. Hi Anonymous (Julia’s cousin),
    The latest update on Julia did not turn out to be a positive one. She will, I believe, continue to live on in the minds of the people she helped in the Philippines. Our condolences.

  9. The worst is over. We can only hope autopsy mitigates this as an accident and no foul play. Very sad for a “PC volunteer” like her to die in this manner. Condolences to her entire family…


  10. Hi TruBlue,
    Hoping the same here but the reports are not encouraging since there are indicators that there might have been foul play. It’s really sad.It would reflect badly on our region if it turns out to be not an accident.

  11. shy here, the student of ma’am campbell here in albay.
    it’s a really sad day for us. we had a mass this afternoon intended for her. indeed, madam julia had imprinted a huge good memory in our hearts.
    thanks madam julia for being a significan part of our lives…
    wherever you may be, we know you’re happy. you’ve done your mission as God had called for you.

  12. Hi Shy,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us; I’m sure her family appreciates it. It’s good that you are not allowing the feelings of grief and sadness overpower the good memories you have of her. I hope you are all doing okay there in Albay as you process this tragedy.

  13. she always with people, i can’t understand why she travel in that place alone. I’m went to school in Baguio for four years familiar with kinds of tribes in Mountain province still i’m scared to got to Banaue by myself. i guess i’m not durdursok. and she is.

  14. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for your comment. I believe that tragedies like this could happen at any place and to any person whether or not that person is “durdursok” (I am not familiar with this term. Do you mean “brave” or do you mean “not careful”?).

    What I am saying is that the death of Julia has nothing to do with the kinds of tribes in the Cordilleras and that they certainly are not bloodthirsty such that it is dangerous to go there by one’s lonesome self. I hope that this incident would not discourage people from visiting the region. As I said, this could happen anywhere whether in the Cordilleras or New York or Timbuktu and it could happen to anyone.

    Although, I do see your point that, in this particular case, things might have been different if she was not alone. Peace.

  15. To the whole world. I got the news yesterday a friend of mine came to me and said.Do you know this place I said yes its beautiful there my comment then all of the sudden show me article Julia Camphell missing in Philippines O my God I hope she is okay I knew my homeland is beautiful and still lots of good people tinawagan ko agad ang aking familia at sinabi ko ang balita sabi nila oo tama ka nabasa ko nga sa periodico tungkol kay Ms.Campbell sana hindi siya nag punta rito dahil masyadong dangerous dito replay sana okay siya sabi ko at ganoon din ang sabi nag familia ko.Marami ang sira ang ulo dito. Sira ang ulo kaya naman kahit akong filipino nag-Iingat ako kapag nagbibisita ako sa aking bansa ang gusto ko lang sana naman tayong lahat na mga tao maging malasakit tayo sa ating kapwa maniwala tayo na ang ten commanment na no shall kill-huwag tayong pumatay mahalin natin ang ating sarili at kapwa lalong-lalo na ang mga taong walang gustong gawin kung hindi ang tulungan ang kapwa.President Gloria Arroyo whats going on? help our turista to be safe help your own people to be safe my heart feel awful that my own country not no longer safe anymore.I have all my family there I am the only one stay abroad but feel much safer here than ours. Please I am kneeling to your foot to get your attention. Do your best to let our country safe for all of us please help us all not just your needs for your family to all the Polis alam ko na mayroon parin mabuting pulis alam ko na hindi tayo lahat sira ang ulo please magtulungan tayo na maging mapayapa ang ating bayan mapagmahal sa kapwa hindi papatay dahil sa salapi.My heart is awful why my own people became mamatay dahil lang sa salapi sana mali ako sana ang aking kababayan mapag-mahal sa kapwa ang may-malasakit hindi criminals alam natin na kung ganito ang ating gagawin walang pag-asang umunlad ang ating bansa to much my own people why why this things happen why my president not training the philippines police to be aware to watch taking care our visitor. Even me I am afraid to be back there my own people might hurt me or worse please where is our pride of country why Julia Campbell had to buwis her life. Why the person that all they want is tumulog pinatay pa who ever do this to her you need to be punish lethal injection is available for you. I hope President Arroyo, all the politician help the family of ms. Campbell to get justice.US group thank you so much for your emergency action I dont think my my government will handle that with out you. It’s sad to say my country getting weak only strong for election day. to the family and friends I am sorry this thing happened. To our innnocent Ms.Julia Campbell rest in peace. You will always be in my head. I hope this will be a lesson to all of us no killing. Instead let’s love one another as our God said to us.

  16. My prayers are with Julia and her family. Julia had done us Filipinos a great service by living with us and telling other people about our culture and way of life. It’s sad that her work had tragically ended. I don’t know her personally and I came to hear about her when I read about her disappearance. My sincere condolences to her family. Gerry

  17. >>anyone else outside MT how dangerous are Ifugao compared to other people in New York, or Manila. If only julia knows the history of these people, perhaps she won’t be there even how important her business to go there.

    Anonymous, that’s a racist (or regionalist or ethnicist) comment. Crimes happen everywhere and white people are killed no matter where they are. The Philippines is full of dangerous spots. How about Cubao at night in Quezon City or any other part of Manila during the night. I can recall a German tourist killed somewhere near the Mt. Pinatubo area. Are you going to say the people in the lowlands are dangerous? How about Graciela Burnham and her husband taken hostage by Abu Sayaff? Are you going to say all Mindanao folk are dangerous, too? Anonymous, all I ask is that you judge individuals, not groups. Judge the individuals who committed the crime, not the ethnic group. My 2 cents.

  18. 110 percent safer in NY?? Why won’t you bring your entire family and stroll in those darks alleys of Albany or the Bronx at nite?


  19. They already confirmed her death as somewhat like a homicide but i was still hoping that it was an accident though. It is very unfortunate for a person with good heart and the only concern was to help suffered something like this. i had watched her last interview in ABS-CBN and she was very trying hard to talk in Tagalog.. how wonderful and delighted to know and see her dedication. Wherever she maybe, her death gives her all the credit from the eahrts of Filipinos.

  20. Hi Anon (10:44)
    I agree with Wil’s comment below. If you are trying to flame bait this is not the time to do it.

    Hi ifeelawful,
    I’m with you in hoping that justice will be achieved in this case if it is confirmed that it is indeed homicide. Thanks.

    Hi Gerry,
    I believe that the fruits of her labor will live on and that others will be inspired by her volunteer service and to likewise take on the challenge of serving others. Thanks again.

    Hi Wil and TruBlue,
    Agree with you both. Thanks.

    Hi Anon (5:17)
    I guess we’re alike in hoping that it was an accident but as you said there are reports stating that it may not be. As I said to Gerry above, I believe that her good works among us Filipinos will live on particularly among her students and co-workers.

  21. may i join your conversation about banaue and batad…like julia- we (me and my friends) went spending the holyweek at batad village …there were a lot of foreigners hiking during that time and unfortunate i couldn’t recall if she’s one of the hikers that we bumped into while strolling around the place….my experience though was a pleasant one. In so short a time, ive learned to love the place and the people living there…in 2 instances, i left valuable things (backpack with my money, cellphone, digicam, etc inside) and everything was intact when it was returned to me…I can feel the sincerity of the people i have talked with and being a tourist destination, i dont think local people would do such crime to a wonderful girl like julia…although we really don’t know the real situation- this is just my opinion…there are a lot of possibilities, it can be that there are people from other places who intentionally do this during peak season…I wonder if she constantly update any friends or love ones regarding her whereabouts during the time she’s still alive….some parts of the place have no cellphone signal-there are a few questions thats playing on my mind…has she meet someone (a local tourist or foreigner) while treking the place? i remembered a group of foreigners weve talked to and weve learned that they’re not really together- they just met on the road and decided to trek together…maybe it could help if these people she have encountered will help in the investigation…from what i learned sa aming guide- she didn’t even made it to the batad information center…yung parang pinaka site na makita mo yung rice terraces…kasi naka log in dun yung names ng mga visitors- i thought maybe if she met someone, the investigators would be able to get their names…i am really bothered…more bothered than that of viriginia tech incident-maybe because julia died here in the philippines. to the family of julia- I hope you find comfort knowing that she’s now in heaven…God bless…

  22. My prayers and condolence to the family of Julia… I’ve been watching updates the first time I have heard of the case and it’s sad though that it turned out to what at most possible we would not expect…

    For the other thoughts (especially of that of Gonzalez’ unsympathetic words I just heard tonight on the news) that she is somewhat to blame as opting of hiking alone, I believe she’s not to blame! Such tragedy may befall anyone; and hard to accept though, perhaps it’s already time for her to be in fellowship with the Lord as she had already done her task/mission assigned to her in this world (sad though it ended up this way)…

    I’m from Banaue (currently living in Tagaytay) but I myself can’t believe the folks of Batad or the town itself could do such act knowing the culture and the hospitality of the townspeople. In my first visit to Batad, I fell in love with the place and the kind of people living in there which made me tour the remote area thrice in a year!

    For the previous “racist” comment, how can that person judge the place if he himself states that he did not visit Banaue? (i dont want to comment on this further)

    The Banaue townspeople’s hospitality and accomodating culture may be revealed by Julia’s confidence in hiking alone to its remote villages. I say this because if you’re touring a place, common sense and instincts dictate precautions when people of the place you are in are uncomfortable to be with… which Julia didn’t find Banaue to be so…

    But in either way, we pray (in addition to the soonest investigation succesful result) for the people who’ve done this thing, either they are from Banaue or from other places (in which we do not yet know), that they’ll be overwhelmed by their conscience to admit such act (which really happens) especially now knowing that Julia’s life is realized to be a VIBRANT PAINT that had been painting a lot of Filipino lives…

    I don’t know Julia personally (like most of us here) but I was saddened by what had happened… Perhaps what we are feeling manifests the Filipino spirit still burning in this modern age..

    To the family of Julia, may God bless you all… Sometimes we let go of things because God has a plan for each and every one of us! Take heart as Julia is already in the realm of our Lord… I believe she left this world happy as she had been doing worthy things that had built/colored other peoples lives which had also been giving her satisfaction…

    “Building relationships is the ultimate source of happiness and satisfaction in this fading world.”

    Andy I


  23. I say second emotion to that. If Raul “the d#$%head” Gonzalez has nothing nice to say, then he should shut up or stick his mouth up his old worthless ass!!!!!!

    Prayers & condolence to the family……

  24. Philippines Justice Secretary is blaming the victim for her confident to have faith to my country and people. You dont deserved to be in the position step out dont you know this is very painful to the family and frieds of the victim then you will say such a things she should not hiking alone dont blame her blame our government the leader of our country the all politician and the police lets educate ourself how be safe to protect our name our culture our country nakahiya tayo to the whole world can we learn to stand together for the right of human bieng not killing. My country have so many good people and beautiful place why this small number of criminal can not handle by proper authority are you really stupid or you are really concern to your own need?My president Gloria Arroyo you have to help us all lead us to the good future lead us to be proud to our own country and people this will affect our economy so you better sent some native speaker to educate out native people to be the host to our turista not to be enemy.Julia Campbell and family Sorry to hear that happened to you
    I knew this hard much hurder to all of us as a filipino one person did it all us will suffer again we want to have justice for her Secretay do the right thing will you.

  25. Anonymous
    Sorry this happened in my country condolences to all the family and friends of our hero Ms. Julia Campbell all she want to help care for other now her life is gone.We need justice for her. US government watch closely how my own official handle this case.We all knew this reflex to my country which right now I feel awful its like will affect my daily relationship to our american friends.

  26. how sad to hear the news but sometimes the whole province can be destroyed by 1 arrogant person…i don’;t want to make opinions about the matter but what i am sure is their are already rotten apples that will affect others..this is the first how i wish their be no more 2nd…

  27. 110 percent safer in NY?? Why won’t you bring your entire family and stroll in those darks alleys of Albany or the Bronx at nite?


    4/19/07 4:27 PM

    Apparently Ms. Campbell was mug in Batad in broad daylight. not in dark alley.

  28. Nats
    I agree with you no more second want because its affect all filipino specially the one stay outside the Philippines the one stay in america will going to face some embarrassing.

  29. Broad Daylight or dark alley, what difference does it make. Okay then, try east or central Los Angeles streets at broadlight.
    On the other hand, just curious how many were beheaded in Ifugao, let’s say the last 20 or 30 years.
    Was Julia beheaded? Feared Headhunters, hmmmm…


  30. Thanks Igorot blogger for your words on Gonzalez’s ignorant commentary. I am very angry he would blame the victim at a time like this. This is hard enough for Julia’s family, they don’t need to hear bullshit like that.

    For what it’s worth, I would never in a million years say Banaue or Batad were dangerous. They both had a very calm vibe to them, and the people there were absolutely lovely.

  31. For what it’s worth, I would never in a million years say Banaue or Batad were dangerous. They both had a very calm vibe to them, and the people there were absolutely lovely.

    i agree with you Christina, but what shall we tell to tourist people that threr’s a cold blooded killer on the loose out there. even the one and only witness is afraid from talking to the police that the killler might harm his family.

  32. >>what shall we tell to tourist people that threr’s a cold blooded killer on the loose out there. even the one and only witness is afraid from talking to the police that the killler might harm his family.

    tell them that the world is a dangerous place. just look at the front page of any newspaper in the world. life always has dangers. if you want to live a danger-free life, then don’t leave the house. I could step out of my condo right now and be mugged by street thugs. all we can do is take precautions: walk with groups, avoid walking alone at night, etc. you know the drill.

  33. We are very sorry for the death of Julia Campbell, a US Peace Corps volunteer who work, and live in our place Donsol. Her death will be an inspiration to us all Donsolanos.
    Thank you very much..for sharing your life with us…May you rest in peace now in the presence of our Lord.

  34. ANOTHER dissapointing words from the big mouthed secretary!!! if one of his relatives may have tripped down from a mountain or got any accidents and died, im gonna say “OH, BECOZ THIS ONE IS CARELESS, GAGO EH!!!”…..will that help him recover from the lost!!….julia doesnt deserve these insult, she’s the one who’s helping our fellow filipino’s not this secretary!!..may u rest in peace julia….its nice hangin out with u here in Manila…

  35. Hi Anon (6:13)
    Thanks for sharing your story. I believe that your good experience in Batad is the rule rather than the exception. I appreciate your not jumping into conclusions and not outrightly blaming the iBatads for what happened. Like you, I believe that the best thing to do is to keep an open mind on the many possibilities that could have happened. Thanks.

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks kailiyan for adding your thoughtful comments on this.

    Hi Speedy,
    Kakaasar talaga Secretary na iyan. If I have the power, I would shut his mouth for him. Thanks.

    Hi ifeelawful,
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Hi Nats,
    Hope we can segregate the rotten apples, no? And I hope we can draw lessons from this just so there won’t be a similar incident in the future. Thanks.

    Hi TruBlue,
    As I said earlier, crimes like this can happen anywhere. Thanks.

    Hi Christina,
    That Secretary has a history of saying the most insensitive things during times like this. I won’t be surprised if he will blame the Iraqi people for what’s happening to them now. Thanks.

    Hi Anon (5:20)
    I also share your concern. I think this case underscores the need for the police to also establish a presence in remote tourist spots like Batad. According to news reports, the PNP will be doing that. Thanks.

    Hi Wil,
    Agree with you here.

    Hi Trublue,
    Our Justice Secretary really has a foot-in-mouth disease no?

    Hi Donsolano (3:39),
    Thanks. As an Igorot from the Cordilleras where she met her death, I feel sorry as well. If you can draw inspiration from her work there in Albay, I hope that we people from the boondocks will draw a lesson from this tragedy and, as Nats said in his comment, prevent any second incident.

    Hi Jerald,
    I share your rage against the insensitivity of our Justice Secretary. I hope he realizes that he is hurting people by making his senseless remarks. But, sadly, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Thanks.

  36. Sa mata ng boung sanlibutan, tayong mga Filipino ay nakakahiya. Tayo na nga ang tinulungan tayo pa ang dahilan ang kanyang karuldumal na kamatayan, sa halaga lamang ng ilang daang salapi, ang ikinamatay ng magiting, mapagmahal sa mga pulubing Filipino na si Ms. Julia Campbel na namatay sa kamay ng isang mapagsamantalang tao na nakatira sa Batad, Banaue. ang lugar na ito ay itinuturing pa man na isa sa mga seventh wonder of the world and also the safest place to visit. But not anymore. To all tourist who wants to visits Banaue, we all know that there’s no such thing as safe place to visit anymore, either in Manila or Banaue, there’s always the risk of being robbed and be killed in the other parts of the Philippines and Batad, Banaue is not an exemption. Truly nakakahiya tayong mga Filipino. at ikinahiya ko ang pagiging pilipino ko.

  37. >>we all know that there’s no such thing as safe place to visit anymore, either in Manila or Banaue,

    no kidding. i think we’ve already established that there’s no such thing as a safe place in the world. I will reiterate: if you want to live a safe life and avoid all dangers, then do not leave your house. I’m assuming, of course, that you won’t electrocute yourself or trip over your furniture in your own house and seriously injure yourself.

  38. Anonymous 4-20-07

    I agree with you that we are nakakahiya dahilan lang sa money our own people killed the loving and caring person.Yes I agree that no such things safe place anymore in our own country.

    As the owner of this blog, I reserve the right to delete comments that are either meant to inflame or those that have crossed the lines of civil discourse for being racist or prejudiced.

    A commenter who repeats again and again that Ifugaos (and Igorots for that matter) are karumaldumal, dangerous, or bloodthirstry because of the Campbell incident is an example of comments that have crossed the line. They do not add to the discussion and is only meant to slur people.

    Much as I would like the discussion here to be unmoderated, I would not allow this blog to be hijacked by those who have their own vicious agenda such as our commenter from Tennessee. If you want to slur all Ifugaos and Igorots like me, then go make your own blog.

  40. I’m so sorry, i agree that I cross the line . i’m just upset about Ms. Campbell untimely death. I’ve tracking her blogs quite sometime until her disapperance hit the news. i beg you to delete all my written comments because there’s should be no place for such a comments on your Blog. it’s too personal and nonsense. i was just carried away by my negative emotion. again I’m sorry.

  41. Am perturbed a little on this ongoing investigation. First it was reported the object used in JC’s death was found at da vicinity
    of where the body was found. Now, I’ve been reading it’s near his home. Hmmmm, for arguments sake, he used a “rock”, would he carry da rock as he heads home after committing such a horrible crime???
    If da latter is main scenario, this guy is loony/deranged in my opinion. Nonetheless, may JC rest in peace….goodhealth to all.


  42. Hi Anonymous,
    Apologies accepted. I have already deleted your comments. We try to make this blog a good place for discussion. We are not expected to agree on all things but when we have different viewpoints, we just agree to disagree. We keep the discussions civil. And we never tolerate prejudice. So again, apologies accepted. Peace.

    Hi TruBlue,
    I agree with your assessment. Hopefully the coming days will clarify matters.

    I have also deleted your latest response to Anonymous. I’m an equal opportunity deleter hehe. Nothing really bad about your comment but I just want the matter to end. Don’t hate me. I gotta do what I gotta do . Peace din.

    Pahabol kay Wil,
    I am also deleting your latest post but only because you quoted that post which finally got my ire. Peace din.

  43. I understand Ms. Campbell why she has to trekk alone. Maybe she wants to have a time alone reflecting or reminiscing knowing that she’ll soon be leaving the counry. I for one loves to do that here in my hometown, Benguet.

    I remember when i was in Sagada and bontoc January of 2006, i see a number of Caucasians traveling alone. They are tourists traveling the sagada-bontoc-banaue route with their backpack on. they don’t have companions. This gives me the idea that it is safe to travel alone in these places(maybe the only bad experience one may have is the over pricing of commodities).

    The news about Ms. Campbell’s death makes me question happened. For i know that we, Igorots, gives respect to foreigners visiting our place if not, we just leave them alone. I pray for eternal peace for the soul Julia Campbell and the true perpitrator/s be brought to justice (Who knows, the blood on that piece of wood may only be the blood of a chicken used in cooking “Pinik-pikan”.)

  44. To the owner of this web and to all that participate:

    Thank you for allowing me to express my feelings and my opinion. I will continue to pray for our Julia Campbell rest in peace and continue to pray for family and friends get comfort to our God. Meaning to get justice for her death. Hope no more.
    I am ashamed this thing happened in our country. Now it is about time for me to move forward, to heal myself and for my friend whom the victim is her close friend. I will understand whatever you think about us as a filipino. I love my country and some good people I love you too and many americans. Our government should do something to make us all proud as a whole. American most of them had wonderful attitude toward bad and good so I am lucky enough don’t feel any discrimintion in this event. Thank you very much the way you judge people as a individual but still ashemeful to the whole world our other people action. This will give very bad stain for all filipino. Fot the Criminal man., I hope you will get capital punishment for your action you ruin our country think- think before you act. To all bad people kill yourself we don’t need you to be around useless.

  45. No worries, Bill. My retort of “whatever” wasn’t exactly clever. 😉 Anyway, here’s hoping that topic discussions are always respectful and civil towards each other in the future.

  46. Birokak nga birok idiay insurat ko ket awan metten, inabra kadabra met gayam ni Bill,haha….pleasure is mine, my friend. If I was in your shoes, would do da same, it’s the only logical thing to do. Indeed it shows we are cultured people. Cheers….

  47. Hi Salome,
    Thanks for your comment and I must say that I agree with you that it is really common in the Cordilleras to see backpackers who are traveling alone. Hopefully this would remind us that no place is safe and that it is good to be cautious in one’s travels. Thanks again and we hope you continue to visit us.

    Hi Ifeelawful,
    You are welcome and thanks for your comments. If your expressing yourself in this blog helped you process your feelings about the matter, then we are glad to have been somewhat of service. We are with you in hoping that whoever is responsible for Julia’s death, if there is any, will be brought to justice. Thanks again.

    Wil and Trublue,
    Thanks man 🙂

    This incident will make us tour

  48. Julia Campbell’s camera found in the bushes.The camera lens was separated from the camera due probably from struggle to defend herself from her killers. Question is, did the Banaue police cunduct proper procedure in gathering evidence near the crime scence? The killers might throw or hide the camera in the bushes that has fingerprints from Julia Cambell and her perpetrators of the crime.

  49. How could this case be solved when they can’t even right da suspect’s last name. Dungtungan, Dontogan, Duntogan, Dontungan. Dontogan is definitely from Kilong, Sagada. Have no idea about the rest…if I’m from Ifugao
    w/above names, butterflies are flying in my guts right now..

  50. hahaha, too many mispelled names of Juan the Killer, which is missing since day one of Ms. Campbell death. and now the wife of Juan is missing too. and there’s no warrant of arrest had issued yet.

  51. Hi Anon and TruBlue,
    We really hope the police do a thorough job on this no? Andaming questions sa kanilang investigation. Thanks Anon pala for the updates; about time na rin to add updates sa main post.

  52. Today’s news of da “suspected killer Juan D” now depicts him as 5’4″,24yrs old contrary to previous which says he was 5’7″, 25yrs old. Lumiliit yata si Juan from hiding at bumabata pa. Da good news for him is da negative blood samples from some evidences.
    He should surface out to shed light as he might not even da killer. Cheers….

  53. If the defense would present it’s case without any deviation from Juan D’s alibi from the very start, it should be homicide. From my own view, it’s not pre-meditated murder, no way!
    What I’d like to see is for Linda Campbell to shock the legal justice of the Philippines by forgiving Juan D and stop the litigation completely. We don’t know what kind of a person she is but who knows, a changed of heart in her is more sublime. It’s definitely a longshot but anything can happen. Cheers…..

  54. Hi Trublue,
    I think the defense has a tough job ahead of them. Even if the Campbell family will forgive Duntugan, the litigation will still continue because what he did is considered to be a crime against the people/society and is not only a crime against Julia Campbell.

    But forgiveness is very valuable in terms of the healing process on the part of a victim (and his/her family) as well as on the part of an offender. Kaya importante din ang forgiveness. Thanks much!

  55. You’re so right Bill, forgot that part of Criminal Law. But Philippine justice system is quite perverted in so many ways that Raul G might also wave his magic wand, and let the case disappear, haha….or he can sit on the case for as long as he is da secretary.
    Mga Plunder cases nga na Death Sentence pala, they’re gathering moss in his office. Just a thought. Cheers and goodhealth….

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