GMA News Online

Julia Campbell's mother fails to hear killer's tale

April 8, 2008 9:12pm

Tags: Ifugao
IFUGAO, Philippines - Linda Campbell, mother of slain Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell, failed to hear the testimony of her daughter’s self-confessed killer Tuesday during the hearing on the incident.

This was after defense lawyers kept suspect Juan Donald Duntungan on reserve and instead presented a Baguio-based policeman who testified on how the alleged killer surrendered to him two weeks after committing the crime.

Mrs Campbell, 65, flew to Banaue from Fairfax, Virginia to attend the hearing and commemorate the first anniversary of her daughter’s death. She was accompanied by Linda’s close friend and Peace Corps country chief Karl Beck.

This was the second time Mrs Campbell was in the country. In August last year, she stood as a prosecution witness who presented a character profile of Julia, who was killed on April 8, 2007 while hiking in the village of Batad in Banaue town.

Julia’s body was discovered ten days later in a shallow grave near suspect’s house where she was last seen. Her sandal and reading glasses were found 160 feet from where the body was half-buried.

Lawyer Pedro Mayam-o, who represents Duntugan, said they presented policeman Arnold Daluyon to prove that Duntugan voluntarily surrendered in La Trinidad, Benguet before he was brought to Ifugao for police custody.

Voluntary surrender could be considered as a mitigating circumstance to downgrade the case from murder to homicide, which is a bailable offense.

Duntungan, who had publicly asked forgiveness for his crime, silently observed the Tuesday’s proceedings from a corner. He had denied killing the victim intentionally, saying it was his temper that made him commit the crime.

Prosecution lawyers, on the other hand, remained firm on the murder charge, citing the gravity of blows and use of superior strength by Duntungan.

The hearing was held at the newly established office of the Regional Trial Court Branch 34 under Judge Esther Flor in Banaue, Ifugao in the old Banaue municipal hall. - GMANews.TV

Tags: Ifugao