2007.04.23: April 23, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: safety: Journalism: Crime: Murder: INQ7.net: US Ambassador honors Julia Campbell

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: Newest Stories: 2007.04.14: April 14, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Safety: Chicago Tribune: Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell Missing in Philippines : 2007.01.13: January 13, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Personal Web Site: "Buhay pa": 2007.04.23: April 23, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: safety: Journalism: Crime: Murder: INQ7.net: US Ambassador honors Julia Campbell

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-49-191.balt.east.verizon.net - on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 7:47 am: Edit Post

US Ambassador honors Julia Campbell

US Ambassador honors Julia Campbell

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney Sunday declined to be drawn to a controversial statement made by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez -- uttered as Filipino and American friends of Julia Campbell grieved -- that the murdered American Peace Corps volunteer had been “careless.” “Julia was a very beautiful young woman who loved this country. If you’ve seen the pictures of her smile, she made many friends. She had an extraordinary smile. I’m gonna let that pass,” Kenney said when asked by reporters to comment on Gonzalez’s remark.

US Ambassador honors Julia Campbell

Peace Corps volunteers honor Campbell

By TJ Burgonio

Last updated 05:44am (Mla time) 04/23/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- US Ambassador Kristie Kenney Sunday declined to be drawn to a controversial statement made by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez -- uttered as Filipino and American friends of Julia Campbell grieved -- that the murdered American Peace Corps volunteer had been “careless.”

“Julia was a very beautiful young woman who loved this country. If you’ve seen the pictures of her smile, she made many friends. She had an extraordinary smile. I’m gonna let that pass,” Kenney said when asked by reporters to comment on Gonzalez’s remark.

Gonzalez has elicited public rebuke for saying that Campbell had been “careless” in deciding to trek alone in the Ifugao mountains. He made the statement just after authorities on Wednesday announced that the remains of Campbell had been discovered in Banaue town 10 days after she disappeared and her friends and associates were expressing their grief and sorrow.

“It’s another reckless statement coming from the justice secretary,” said opposition senatorial candidate Aquilino Pimentel III on a campaign swing in Iloilo City. “Is he saying that if you are traveling alone in the Philippines your life is at risk? That paints a very bad picture of our country,” he said.

Peace Corps volunteers held a memorial service at the US Embassy on Saturday for the 40-year-old Campbell, whose death triggered a wave of mourning among the locals she had served and who worked with in her two-year stay in the Philippines.

‘Extremely emotional’

“It was extremely emotional for all of us. But it was a wonderful time to talk about a vibrant woman who left a very comfortable life in the United States to come here because she wanted to make a difference,” Kenney told reporters Sunday at the Quezon Memorial Circle where she attended ceremonies marking Earth Day and opened a USAID photo exhibit.

After an autopsy witnessed by US pathologists, police said Saturday that Campbell had been hit with a blunt object in the head and strangled, even as they did not rule out that she might have been sexually assaulted.

Police have identified a suspect in the killing.

Kenney also said the embassy was studying whether to issue a new travel advisory against Peace Corps volunteers planning to come to Manila.

“We always look at the safety of the volunteers. It’s so important. They live throughout the Philippines, with families and communities. We’re looking at their safety and security, and we’ll continue to do that,” she said.

Volunteers’ safety assessed

“We haven’t issued anything new but we will obviously be assessing and thinking about how we can best make sure they’re safe.”

The ambassador also hinted that Peace Corps volunteers were here to stay despite Campbell’s death.

“You know we got 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers who have been working since 1961. So I feel like there’s a strong reservoir of goodwill to our Peace Corps volunteers. There are people who have been stopping me in the street to say how much they love our Peace Corps,” she said.

So far, the US Embassy was satisfied with the police handling of the investigation.

“The police are investigating this very thoughtfully, carefully. The US stands ready to assist in that. We have so many factors at stake here. One, her family in the United States who are obviously grieving the loss of a daughter. The others who are us here who are trying to recover,” Kenney said.

US Embassy spokesperson Stacy Mactaggert on Sunday said the Campbell family was arranging to return Campbell’s remains to Fairfax, Virginia, where funeral rites would be held. With reports from Tarra Quismundo and David Israel Sinay, Inquirer Visayas

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Headlines: April, 2007; Peace Corps Philippines; Directory of Philippines RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Philippines RPCVs; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Journalism; Crime; Murder

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Story Source: INQ7.net

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