Statement of Sec. Ignacio R. Bunye: On the killing of a US Peace Corps volunteer
Manila (21 April) -- The President is saddened by the death of Ms. Campbell, whose body was found in Batad, Banaue in Ifugao Province last Wednesday morning, after being reported missing since April 8. It is unfortunate that a committed and selfless person, who obviously grew to love our country based on the work she had done in Sorsogon, met a tragic end here.
The PNP had been instructed to get to the bottom of Campbell’s death and solve the case soonest. It is hoped that this is something that happened in isolation and should not happen again.
The US government will still allow their Peace Corps members in the country to stay and continue with their mission. Security for the volunteers remains to be of highest priority but no specific changes in the security setup of these volunteers have yet been made.
The US Embassy expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the investigations being undertaken by the PNP and the Armed Forces and thanked the people who joined in her search.
On Election Areas of Concern
The Philippine National Police has categorized Election Areas of Concern to serve as basis in operational planning of deployment of security forces, structuring of local PNP units and allocation of resources.
The list of nine provinces were broken down into two major groups. The first category is composed of areas with history of Election – Related Violent Incidents (ERVI), existence of intense political rivalry between contending parties and possible employment of partisan armed groups of candidates in the area. The second category is composed of areas where there are serious threats by the CPP/NPA, MILF and MNLF, and other similar armed organizations. The nine provinces listed as Election Areas of Concern are Cagayan, Isabela, Abra, Nueva Ecija, Masbate, Western Samar, Lanao Del Sur, Sulu, and Basilan. The initial assessment of the prevailing situation in these areas is still subject to validation.
On PGMA’s Trip to China
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will leave for China to be the main speaker of the 15th Boao Forum, an activity sponsored by a non-government organization advocating for regional economic integration.
The Chief Executive is scheduled to leave the country at 12:05 tonight, and is expected to arrive early Saturday morning at the Haikou International Airport in Hainan, China.
Alongside the Boao forum are various meetings of the President with Chinese investors and the signing of a new Chinese investment in the Philippines amounting to US $2 billion.
The President is scheduled to fly back to the Philippines Saturday night. (PIA) [top]