30.4.07

In Memoriam - Julia Campbell

Honesty - this was the topic I was advised to discuss on this morning during our routine team meeting. Immediately, I remembered Julia Campbell and the recent developments of her case. The man who has allegedly killed her went into hiding though finally surrendering and professing what and why he has done such a senseless act.

I was actually in Batad on April 7, 2007, a day after Julia Campbell went missing and was found to be dead. Coincidentally, we also drink a couple of cold soda and rest at the very same restaurant that she stopped. I even went inside the house of the owner, who happens to be the wife of the killer, to have clear shots of the Batad Terraces by their window. Inside was his husband - Juan Duntugan, the self-confessed locale who killed Julia.

Window shots at Duntugan's house

You see Batad is a peaceful barangay of Banawe. You can actually walk alone on the trails without worrying that somebody might drag or do something worse on you. There was even an indie movie last March at the CCP that shows Batad as a thriving barangay (they only had electricity in 2006) which was A rated by the MTRCB.

But with this meaningless act of uncontrolled fit of pique, a worthy life has perished. Duntugan claimed that he lost his mind during the incident. If only he thought of his kids and his family before doing such a pointless crime...if only he looked at the Julia who accidentally bumped him along his path...if only senses were used and not egos...we could have saved someone more worthy of having a longer lease in life.

I was really surprised when Duntugan unperturbedly re-enact what he has done to Julia. It was sickening. Loads of evidence came out - the thick wood he used to make sure the woman is dead, the clothes he wore, the "Daily Bread" book Julia always brought along with her, and her other personal belongings. At once, I was mad at Duntugan but it soon faded. He confessed of the crime and there's nothing much he or we could do about it. Mark Twain once said, "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything". True that he killed the woman. All of us should believe that but motives comes into place. Did he really kill her out of temporary insanity? of sheer mannish ego? Did he not attempt anything immoral on her? These are the bigger questions that continuously looms among us.

I wanted to applaud him for telling the truth and the tale we do not want to hear about, but we can never return the life of a Peace Corps volunteer who shared her soul to distant Filipinos in need. I wanted to be calm after his surrender to the authorities yet I was sickened of the simple reason why he has done such a pointless crime.

To Duntugan, I value the honesty. As human, I still condemn the crime you have ruffly committed. My prayers though are with your family.

To Julia, my prayers are with you as well. Hopeful you'll find eternal peace.

4 comments:

Senor Enrique said...

A senseless violent act it was.

U.T.O.Y said...

not a way to end up a more worthy life...

tutubi said...

hope to visit batad din someday...walang kwentang pagpatay talaga...kainis bakit ba may mga taong ganun?

U.T.O.Y said...

yeah it really was a very sad date for everyone...considering it was Holy Week...let's just pray for Julia...