Nicole’s stepsis says man offered to bribe them

Monday, July 3, 2006
Witness: Anna Liza Franco

Nicole’s stepsister Anna Liza Franco took the stand for the fourth time today and reaffirmed her claim that someone tried to bribe them not to file charges against the four American servicemen who allegedly raped Nicole.

Testifying under cross-examination, Anna Liza Franco said a certain Ben Natividad approached and told her, “Magpaareglo na lang kayo (Agree to an arrangement).”

She said she met Natividad in the evening of Nov. 2 at the Intelligence and Investigation Office of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. She added that it was the first and last time that she saw him.

Franco, who was with Nicole in Subic for a four-day vacation, had accompanied her when the latter went to IIO for an interview regarding the alleged rape.

She was also with the complainant when they went bar-hopping on the night of Nov. 1. Franco reiterated that her stepsister ate nothing but a slice of pizza. She further said that Nicole didn’t drink water even after they had several shots of alcoholic drinks.

Franco admitted to the court that she and Nicole weren’t familiar with the drinks. It was their friend, US Navy Petty Officer 2 Chris Mills, who ordered the drinks and told them what these were.

Franco also tried but failed to remember how far the Waterfront was from the Neptune Club, and how for long she and Mills looked for Nicole inside the club after they realized they lost her.

She recalled though that she described Nicole to a club employee later on when she came back to the club to look again for her sister. She asked the receptionist at Neptune if she saw a morena woman slightly bigger than herself, but of the same height, wearing a mint green blouse, blue jeans and sandals, and with shaggy, black hair.

After a few questions from private prosecutor Evalyn Ursua, the hearing was adjourned at 1:50 p.m. It was by far the shortest hearing in the trial for the Subic rape case.


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