TOWNS launches Justice for Nicole fund drive

Enjoy a ballet, have fun at Star City, and help a worthwhile cause.

In support of Nicole and her quest for justice against four American servicemen accused of raping her, The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) launched the Justice for Nicole fund drive through “La Bayadere” starring prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

“This is not just for Nicole. We are also fighting for the dignity of our fellow Filipinas and for our nation’s pride,” former Senator Leticia Shahani, TOWNS member and author of the anti-rape bill, said.

TOWNS said that although the family is not indigent, the cost of litigation is draining the family’s finances. Family members have to travel from Zamboanga to Manila to give her support. One brother even had to stop schooling.

“Just the daily transcript costs P2,000 a day or P8,000 a week. In the last hearing, they could not get the transcript anymore because they owed the clerk P12,000 already, hence, TOWNS is raising a Nicole defense fund,” TOWNS said in a press release.

Responding to the call to raise funds, Macuja-Elizalde, also a TOWNS awardee, generously offered to give TOWNS orchestra tickets at P500 each to the opening of the ballet season where she will be dancing opposite the foremost Russian Marinsky principal dancer, Maxim Chaschegorov.

La Bayadere,” premiers on Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Aliw Theater (at the Star City in the CCP complex) on Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

After the performance, tickets can be exchanged for a P200 or “ride-all-you-can” bracelet at the Star City (just beside the Aliw Theater).

Help the Justice for Nicole fund by buying some tickets. Call Kaisa office at 526-6796 or 527-6083 or pick them up at the Kaisa Heritage Center, 32 Anda cor Cabildo Sts., Intramuros, Manila

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21 Comments

  1. arnold said,

    July 25, 2006 at 6:22 am

    Finally, the commercialization of nicole’s rape. Okay, you can accuse me of being an insensitive, bad dude for saying so. But what is this, in fact? A fund to help in nicole’s fight for justice? Give me a break!

    By the way, don’t forget the t-shirts and pamaypay. They are sure sellers.

  2. jay said,

    July 25, 2006 at 10:02 am

    Maybe the Marines need monetary assistance too because they are outside their country and has to pay for legal expenses as well as their board and lodging.

  3. July 25, 2006 at 10:16 am

    yes, maybe, but their embassy must have seen to that.

    nicole, on the other hand, cannot expect support from our government.

  4. Schumey said,

    July 26, 2006 at 10:38 am

    Wow, Lisa Macuja. I hope for its success. I understand my friend, Anna has contacted you. Any word from Yuko? I’ll try to remind her. She’s buy right now because of deadlines to be met. I’m sure she’ll try to find time for you. Its not about politics, its a fight for women’s rights. I’ll try to see what else I can do.

  5. lea said,

    July 26, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    arnold, nobody needs to accuse you of insensistivity because you obviously are!

  6. arnold said,

    July 27, 2006 at 6:11 am

    Thanks lea! I knew you would come out sooner or later. Put your money where your mouth is and donate a meaningfull sum to the fund. That’s really how to do it, if you believe. Otherwise you are just all talk and no action. Of course, you can claim that you did, but it’s really only you and your consience that would know for sure.

  7. stoxbnx3 said,

    July 27, 2006 at 8:47 am

    we’ve talked, schumey. thanks for the help. =)

  8. July 27, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    sadly, unlike the marines, we dont have the Big Bully Uncle Sam who pay all the expenses of the court trial, including separate private counsels for each of the accused, who billet them in the roxas blvd. airconditioned mansion, complete with chef to feed them, who can spend for PR consultants to make sure that only their side are heard…

    fortunately for Nicole, there are people who care. when our OFWs are raped and abused abroad, our govt do not come to their rescue. unlike the US marines who have a whole contingency of US embassy personnel attending the trial to give them support, we Filipinas are always left to scrounge around for resources to support us. Do you wonder at all why Flor Contemplacion was swiftly put to death? Because we are wimps, much like Arnold who instead of reaching out and helping, belittles our efforts to help our fellow Filipina.

    Arnold, you take it as commercializaiton of Nicole’s ordeal, we take it as humanizing the plight and dignifying the ordeal Nicole is suffering from. No man is an island, you have sisters, mother, girl friends, aunts, nieces… too! if they end up in desperate straits just like Nicole’s family, you will be thankful for efforts like ours. It isnt easy to raise funds and thankfully for kind souls like Liza Macuja Elizalde, we are given a way out. The funds raised in this ballet isnt even 20 percent of the cost of litigation and we beg Arnold to help us come up with the remaining 80 percent so we can avoid accusations like his.

    and thank you Arnold for giving us this chance to clarify.

  9. nina yuson said,

    July 28, 2006 at 8:56 am

    Hi, the Justice for Nicole Fund is to support our private prosecutor and young lawyers helping in the research all doing this “pro bono”, the necessary photocopying, filing of appeals etc. Who else can help us but ourselves. So TOWNS Foundation, Inc., (the Outstanding women in the Nation’s Service) has taken upon themselves to raise funds for this – otherwise how can we survive the trial…til December? it costs some!

    Also will be used for the public fora on “Rape” which we will do in the universities. We already had one at st. Scholastica for the press and had on our panel, mothers of rape victims, Karen Vertido and Atty. Evalyn Ursua (private prosec of Nicole).

  10. bang said,

    July 28, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Indeed, it is easy to cast doubts on anything, especially where money is involved. Following the case on tv and in prints there were things I felt unnecessary from and among the women supporters. I am glad they are no longer shown on tv the way it was. Either it was too overly dramatized or simply unnecessary.
    It is however, worthy to note that their support made a big impact on the case. The lawyers are doing a superb job in making sure that senseless errors are minimized or avoided in order to push the case further. So far the change of lawyers gave Nicole the support and hope in order to get by and
    continue fighting.

    On to the money issue. It is about time to help the family. The almost daily hearings spell volumes of transcripts. we are not even talking of lawyers’ fees. This type of struggle can truly deplete fundings, more so, if all you have are the dwindling family properties and mounting bills.

    If there Arnold is doubtful, he may not help, he may choose not to buy the ticket, and he can also stop not caring by simply not saying anything. But it seems to me that he is affected, that he has to take time to open this site and type his thoughts and pave the way for the other supporter to explain why HELP is necessary. And show why we need to avoid judging the conscience of others, if only to prove that we are certain of where we stand. And do something about it.

  11. July 29, 2006 at 4:13 am

    This case has certainly brought out the worst in people especially the “lynch-mob” mentality of the women’s groups displayed on this web site. Let’s look at some of the statements on this website. “Nicole and her quest for justice against four American servicemen”, I think these people need to review their dictionary, justice is described as upholding the law and deal with people fairly, it’s a two way street and the protection of both sides, to suggest that Justice is a weapon for one person to use against others is appalling.

    Have you ever asked yourself, what if the assumptions you have drawn in assuming that this girl is totally innocent and a complete victim to these horrible beasts was wrong? “Justice” is the job of the courts and should be offered to all parties.

    This also leads me to ask why this group is posting such propaganda to attempt to sway public opinion in the direction of someone who could be a complete liar, again whether she is or isn’t is not for us to decide but using “justice” as the justification for jumping to conclusions, spreading propaganda and group fundraising is really anti-justice.

  12. bang said,

    July 29, 2006 at 9:47 am

    Austin, I guess we are using the same dictionary. And we mean the same thing. But please also look up the meaning of the word Struggle. Have you ever asked why some people have to Struggle in order to attain Justice?

    If telling the truth is an injustice and if crying out harder because such plea fell on deaf ears especially the ears of the Secretary of the Department of Justice who almost intended to exonerate the accused. is an injustice. If a group of people can only do so much to help a family who are already having a hard time paying the transcripsts after every arraignments so the court would hear well, is an injustice. Then so be it.

    Certainly, no one is opposing the GIs posting their own blogs if only to bring about the justice you are referring to. But I guess they don’t feel the need to. Their government through their embassy is more than enough to back them up. They even had a priest to help them look kinder in the eyes of the “mob”.

    And thank God there are people who have the heart to help even in the midst of allegations of sowing injustice to “the comforted GIs” in order to at least allay the burden of the traumatized Nicole.

  13. stoxbnx3 said,

    July 29, 2006 at 11:56 am

    if fighting for women’s rights and dignity is the worst in people for you, then i don’t know what kind of thinking you have. you must have failed to understand that the above sentence that you quoted is part of a press statement (i’m sure you know what that is) of the organization.

    we are aware that justice is a two-way street, but are you also aware that some people sometimes find it hard to fight for justice on their own? that, though everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law, one needs good lawyers and support groups to be able to fight a fair fight?

    if you don’t, try to give up all that you have and fight for your rights opposite those who have everything.

  14. July 29, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    If the verdict returned in this case is not guilty, will you accept that? Or will you never accept THAT justice because it wasn’t the justice you wanted? Maybe TOWNS and the Nicole Information Center thinks they know better than the judge who is guilty and who is innocent, that’s why they want “justice against four American service men”, rather than to simply see justice is served for all. I can just see all postings with reasons why embassy’s, government, DOJ etc did not get “justice”. Is this really “justice for Nicole” or have you already judged and now just want the lynching? The proof to all of this will of course be after the verdict.

    As for TOWNS choosing their words so poorly in press statements, press statements are the perfect opportunity for groups like TOWNS to gain the public support, after all isn’t that key element of being able to provide assistance?. Quotes like “justice against four American service men” makes the greater populations write off TOWNS as another group of lesbians on an anti male campaign. TOWNS press liaison must be a genius.

  15. Anonymous said,

    July 30, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    Are you also pursuing funds for the servicemen’s families to travel to support them. I know for a fact they don’t have the money to get there. P150,000 per person per flight. They may need the support too.

  16. nicole information bureau said,

    July 31, 2006 at 3:44 am

    there’s no need to. they have their embassy to support them.

  17. Arnold said,

    July 31, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    Thank goodness there are cool minds here. Tessie and Bang have an understanding of how to respond to opposing views. So, for those who really believe and can afford, go ahead and put your mulah in.

    Me, I have my doubts. Rape is rape and if these marines are indeed guilty, then they should be punished.

    Tessie, yes, I have sisters and brothers as well. If my brothers were accused of rape and the circumstances behind the accusation are the same as that of Nicole then it is reasonable to believe that they were led to it.

    As for my “sisters”, they make a modest living. They don’t make nearly as much as nicole clains to make, but they don’t go around socializing with strange men in bars and to top it all, drinking themselves unconcious.

    Unfortunately, you have all seemingly made up your minds that those accused are guilty. That you will not accept the courts dicision should the accused be found not guilty. That you would continue polarize and politicize the issue.

  18. heartnmynd said,

    August 18, 2006 at 4:45 am

    isnt it amazing how easy it is to pass on judgement to issues that seem pretty and irrelevant once it hasnt happened to you?

    here is the sad truth to this case…

    left and right you hear comments like “she wanted it” if she didnt want to be raped, “she shouldnt have been there in the first place”… “let the courts do thier job and lets take public opinion out of the picture so that justice can properly be served”….

    the thing is ladies and gentlemen, this case is not so far to our very own personal lives… the truth is, from the very beggining, this has been our case all along… this is the case of our sisters, our mothers, ourselves… for this case holds the key to very symbolism of our freedom and the nature of our nation….

    for years now, we have claimed to be free and yet we have been following foriegn power like stupid dogs who doesnt know better for themselves…. why do you think did we agreed to the VFA in the first place? in not so many words, what we agreed upon is for another nation to use and abuse our lands for no price and no responsiblities… who does that? ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES!!!

    now we are claiming that the courts have the rightful job to take care and judge this trial… our very courts who allowed this situation to happen in the first place!!! our courts who did not have the balls to stand up for this nation and declare VFA to be unconstitutional… do you think they are the ones who have the wisdom of seeing this justice?

    if they have the right to question the sexual history of the victim, dont we have the right to question the history of thier loyalty to duty?

    yes we were all not there to witness the rape, “or if it even was rape to begin with…” we are not the courts to deliver justice “to whom ever justice needs to be given to”…

    but we are here to make sure that justice is served to the ones abuse… may it be through moral support or public dismay….

    let me remind you insensitive pompous arrogant creatures our there that there is a real girl out there… whether or not she agreed to sexual intercourse in the first place… this girl was drunk and taken for granted… and somewhere out there at one point in her life, she laid in the shadows ashamed of her very own being because she was used…

    she had a mistake no doubt about it…. if she hadnt, she wouldnt have been raped in the first place…. isnt it that punishement enough for her?

    what about those who took advantage of that mistake she did? will wejust let them be without having them learn thier lesson? what will this teach other US servicemen coming in and out of the country? “hey lets just rape a filipina, get off duty for one year and stay at fine hotels til we are proven not guilty”

    is this the justice we want to show?

    please think twice before you say anything… you were not there at the rape, you were not raped and you were never at any trial when the victim was openly humiliated not only be defense lawyers but even the judge “how did the accused massage you breast”—> can you imagine how a rape victim could answer this if a judge had asked you…

    i hope you have a long day contemplating upon this before i see your comment again…

  19. jay said,

    August 25, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Arnold I agree with you. Some people already judged the four servicemen without listening to the argument. This is sad. This is an isolated case against the four servicemen, why make it Filipinos against Americans. I like to see justice prevails after the evidences have been presented.

  20. ninnz said,

    August 29, 2006 at 3:37 am

    our justice system is having the case tried right now…

    theres no sense in trying to procrastinate until its done

    and you wouldnt know why we feel this strongly about the case if you havent been at any trial or you dont understand how heavy the pressure is due to the vfa. . .

    do you know the implications of VFA to this case??? if justice is not served in one year… it cannot be served at all…

    if the service men are not guilty, our courts will no longer have to prove that and although they are free to go, they could forever be guilty in the eyes of the filipinas…

    if they are guilty, they go free with no responsibilty what so ever to nicole…

  21. Moe Dick said,

    January 12, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Well, lets see if I can find a penny for your cause.


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