Nicole to Gonzales: ‘Too late’

A week after she appealed that state prosecutors handling her case be replaced, Nicole sent another letter today to the justice secretary, this time saying that even if he would grant her request, it would be too late.

Nicole said the decision of DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzales would no longer make a difference once the defense panel finishes presenting its witnesses.

Defense planned to present six witnesses: the four accused, a US Marine who claimed to be Nicole’s friend, and an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Of the six, only accused Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis have not taken the stand yet. Others were done with their testimonies, save for Dr. Teresita Sanchez who still have to testify for cross-examination.

In her letter, Nicole wrote in detail how the poor performance of the prosecutors disappointed her especially during the September 11 hearing.

“I was extremely dismayed, disturbed and alarmed upon witnessing one of the state prosecutors cross-examine accused [L/Cpl Daniel] Smith,” Nicole said.

Nicole said that lawyer Nolibien Quiambao was “obviously unprepared” for even Judge Benjamin Pozon had to reprimand him several times for merely repeating what Smith stated.

She then revealed that before the September 11 hearing, her public and private lawyers already agreed that senior state prosecutor Emilie Fe delos Santos would handle Smith’s cross-examination.

“Why did she not cross-examine Smith?” Nicole asked, adding that it disappointed her that a junior prosecutor like Quiambao would cross-examine the prime suspect and the “most critical witness” of this case.

She continued that Quiambao is often absent or never takes notes during hearings, and sometimes leaves the court after staying briefly.

Nicole also said that delos Santos turned down her plea to let private prosecutor Evalyn Ursua help conduct the cross-examination. Delos Santos purportedly told her that Ursua could no longer cross-examine.

“I am the victim here. I have the right to be represented. I cannot stand the fact that they have excluded my private lawyers,” Nicole said.

She then added, “What is the sense of hiring the services of my lawyers if they have no participation in the case?”

Meanwhile, Nicole narrated instances when the public prosecutors showed indifference to her feelings as a rape survivor. She recounted that they sometimes scold her and make her stop crying during hearings.

She also wrote that she felt demoralized whenever the prosecutors come to court late or are absent, or when she see them laugh with the defense panel inside the courtroom.

Nicole further stated that state prosecutors treated her with “lack of respect” and that she had no good relationship with them.

“They did not even respect me and how I felt during that time,” Nicole said, adding that the prosecutors should have understood how she felt that time because they have handled rape cases before.

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5 Comments

  1. annie said,

    November 3, 2006 at 5:30 am

    hi
    hapi hapi bdy

  2. Lorna said,

    November 24, 2006 at 1:19 am

    Hmmm… In my opinion, it sounds like it is going to be hard for Nicole to win the case; especially as there are a lot of corrupt people working in the government. Smith and the other suspect can use their money to pay people to just shut their mouths. Remember that the Philippines is the most corrupt country in the whole world.
    well..whatever i really do hope that the truth only will come out at sana hindi natutulog ang hustisya.

  3. December 4, 2006 at 11:43 am

    Si Justice Gonzales kampi sa amerikano iyan. Dapat ay iyan ang ikulong sa City Jail kasama ni Smith.

  4. lieh said,

    December 4, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    I would like to congratulate nicoLe for winning the case…CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    you deserve it and i’m so proud that there is someone like “nicole” who is not affraid of fighting her freedom!! ang we are so happy that the justice prosecutor decided Danierl Smith GUILTY!!!! hope other filipino women who are rape victims would have confident within themselves to fight for their rights which sometimes weren’t easy to commit because of frightened and misconfident……

  5. Emily said,

    December 7, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    Just like sweet angel said, i believe and trust to the members of USMC. i also experience to go out with lots of US Marines, but i never had a bad memories with them. They are all nice and gentlemen. Or maybe, its up to the girl itself on how they show their personality. If the girl is flirt, the man thinks that she want something happen. Just like what i said to my other post here, i dont believe that Nicole or Suzette Franco in real is being raped by Daniel. She ruined Smitt’s life and personality. I know there are lots of Filipino people who believes Daniel Smitt than Nicole specially here in US.


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