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US Peace Corps director arriving in Manila

April 16, 2007 6:55pm
The director of the US Peace Corps is expected to arrive in Manila anytime Monday evening to personally get information from Philippine officials on the ongoing search for missing volunteer Julia Campbell.

On Tuesday, Ronald Tschetter will go to Ifugao province in northern Philippines to meet with security forces and other officials taking part in the search for Campbell, who was last seen in Banaue town on April 8.

In Manila, Tschetter will confer with other Philippine officials as well as with US Peace Corps volunteers and staff members here.

"The Peace Corps is making every effort to find Ms. Campbell, and our offices in the Philippines are working closely with the US Embassy in Manila and local authorities, and we greatly appreciate their support. We are also in close contact with Ms. Campbell’s family," Tschetter said.

Campbell was said to be intending to hike a hilly portion in Batad, about 1.5 kilometers east of Banaue town. She was alone.

She is one of 137 Peace Corps volunteers serving in the country. More than 8,000 Volunteers have served in the Philippines since 1961, making it the second oldest Peace Corps program in the world.

Already, military and police personnel have been fanned out in search for Campbell. Search efforts, however, have yet to produce positive results.

Tschetter said thousands of flyers have been posted throughout the search area and adequate information are being released to the public through the media.

"All of our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Campbell and her family during this very difficult time," he said.

In a statement, Campbell’s family thanked the US Embassy and the Filipino people involved in the search for their daughter.

"Julia is a bright, strong, and gifted woman. We are optimistic that the search efforts will be successful, and we continue to pray for her and the people who are searching for her," Campbell’s family said. - GMANews.TV