GMA News Online

Julia Campbell killing: Court ruling out June 30

April 9, 2008 6:11pm

Tags: Ifugao
MANILA, Philippines - A Banaue, Ifugao court has set the promulgation on the killing of Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell on June 30, GMA News reported Wednesday.

The television report said the defense panel did not request for an extension of the hearing even if their last resource person, Emiliano Blas, a neighbor and reported enemy of suspect Juan Duntugan, failed to attend the hearing held last Tuesday.

Judge Esther Flor of Banaue, Ifugao Regional Trial Court Branch 34 is hearing the case.

The report said the prosecution is confident that they will get a favorable decision with the strong evidence they presented to the court.

Prosecution lawyers were also hoping for a conviction on murder charges, and not on homicide.

Defense lawyers had said the charge should be downgraded to homicide since Duntugan voluntarily surrendered and admitted to his crime.

Duntungan had denied killing Campbell intentionally, saying it was his temper that made him commit the crime.

In earlier interviews, Duntugan said he was blinded by rage when his path – and his fate – crossed that of Campbell's on April 8, 2007.

On that day, Duntugan was carrying a sack filled with clothes from guests who attended a wedding when Campbell – hiking to see the famous Banaue Rice Terraces - accidentally bumped on him.

Duntugan said he was jolted when someone bumped him from behind. "Yung bitbit ko nahulog po. Medyo nablanko isip ko, di ko alam kung sino siya at ano siya. Kumuha ako ng bato at saka ko pinukpok sa ulo." (I dropped the sack. My mind went blank, I didn't know who bumped me or what he or she was. I grabbed a rock and smashed it to that person's head.)

He was later stunned in finding out that the person was not the enemy he thought of, but a stranger. He said he dragged Campbell’s body away from the mountain trail while baffled by what he did.

Campbell’s body was found in a shallow grave 10 days later.

Duntugan hid in Baguio and claimed that he had been sleepless and unable to eat since the incident.

In an interview with GMA News, Linda Campbell, Julia’s mother, who was present during the hearing Tuesdauy, said Duntugan has not approached her to apologize.

The report said the Julia’s mother and friends commemorated her first death anniversary Tuesday in Banaue, Ifugao. - Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV

Tags: Ifugao