TFSR calls for end of VFA, slams US Global War

Press Release
Task Force Subic Rape (TFSR)
September 15, 2006

“It has been 15 years since the end of the Bases Treaty but the situation of Filipino victims of abuse by US soldiers remain the same,” the Task Force Subic Rape, an organization of women’s groups who are  are holding a rally in front of the US embassy this morning to show support for Nicole’s decision to replace the state lawyers assigned to prosecute the US soldiers she accused of raping her in November last year.

“Observers in the hearings have been suspecting that something is behind the obviously perfunctory handling of the case by the state prosecutors,” said Myrla Baldonado of TFSR. “Last Monday, the poor conduct of the cross examination even caused the judge to be visibly surprised.”

TFSR goes beyond the complaint  of Nicole’s mother who said the state prosecutors are incompetent. The group is also questioning several instances that point to the government’s hand in the handling and in directing the outcome of this case. Pressure from the US on the Arroyo government as well as pressure the DOJ over the state prosecutors can never be discounted.

“It is unfortunate that as we celebrate the anniversary of one shining moment in our history tomorrow, the assertion of our sovereignty through the abrogation of the US Bases Agreement in 1991, the Arroyo government remains so obsequious to its ‘long-time partner’, the US, that it hitches itself up on Bush’ global war against terror. For this, she allowed the use of the whole country for war exercises through the VFA,” added Baldonado.

TFSR is composed of organizations and individuals which include AKBAYAN Women’s Committee, Buklod, CATWAP, BMP-Kababaihan, Freedom from Debt Coalition, KAISA KA-KPD, KAKAMPI, Partidong Manggagawa, PTFBC-ABC, SANLAKAS, SARILAYA, SOS Women, WEDPRO, Women and Work Resource Center, WRACVAW, WomanHealth, YAKAP and Women’s Legal Bureau.

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