Women’s groups to hold ‘Take back the Night’ on Subic rape anniversary

For the first anniversary of the Subic Rape Case, women’s groups led by Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan (KAISA KA), People’s Task Force for Bases Clean-Up, and YAKAP-SUBIC, are set to hold a Take Back the Night, a march that aims to raise people’s awareness on violence against women, on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006 in Olongapo City.

Nicole was allegedly raped there last year while she and her siblings were on vacation.

To condemn the alleged crime, the said groups will lead Nicole’s other supporters at the main gate of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, and will then march to the Ulo ng Apo. Candles will be lighted.

Take Back the Night rallies began in England as a protest against the dangers women faced while walking the streets at night. The first of such rallies in the United States was held in San Francisco in 1978.

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Task Force Subic Rape hails Prosecutor Hazel Valdez for speaking out on the cancellation of the rebuttal

Press Release
October 6, 2006

The Task Force Subic Rape commends Prosecutor Valdez’ for her courage to speak about her displeasure over the events that led to the arbitrary cancellation the rebuttal which abruptly ended the trial of US servicemen for the rape of Nicole.

Said Yuen Abana, TFSR Co-Coordinator: “This is a moral victory for Nicole , all other victims of rape and her growing number of supporters. Prosecutor Valdez’ act of crossing the line speaks for her integrity and conscience.” She said this amidst joyful cheers of TFSR members while watching the television interview.

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Online Petition: Justice for Nicole, Justice for our Nation

N.B. Below is the petition drafted by the Task Force Subic Rape. To add your signature, please follow this link.

You may also send your signature to tfsrsecretariat@yahoo.com, with this in the subject line: “Online Petition: Justice for Nicole, Justice for our Nation.”

The trial of the Subic Rape Case in which four U.S. servicemen have been accused of raping a Filipina is coming to an end. We wholeheartedly commend the victim “Nicole” for gathering the courage to defend her dignity and demand justice for herself and our nation.We believe that the Subic rape case is a landmark case for being the first that has come to trial in our country against U.S. servicemen, and for its importance in challenging the implementation of the Anti-rape Law in the furtherance of women’s rights.

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Doc admits lack of injuries can still prove rape

Monday, Sept. 25, 2006

A doctor, who testified last Monday that Nicole sustained no injuries significant to prove rape, acknowledged today that lack of physical injuries on the victim does not necessarily rule out sexual assault.

Defense’s expert witness Dr. Teresita Sanchez agreed with prosecutor Hazel Valdez when the latter quoted a book saying, “Evidence of injury is not essential for the prosecution of a rape case.”

Sanchez, an obstetrician-gynecologist, further admitted that depending on some factors, rape might not cause external injuries to the victim.

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‘Most drunk’ GI’s tale another lie—prosecutor

Friday, Sept. 22, 2006

The prosecutor, who grilled today the fourth accused US Marine to take the stand in the Subic rape trial, dismissed the testimony as another lie.

Echoing her remark about yesterday’s witness, lawyer Emilie Fe delos Santos head of the prosecution panel, said Lance Corporal Dominic Duplantis lied to the court to protect his co-defendants.

Delos Santos yesterday accused L/Cpl Keith Silkwood of lying for the sake of his liberty buddy L/Cpl Daniel Smith.

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Witness is lying—prosecutor

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006

The public lawyer who cross-examined today one of the four accused in the Subic rape trial alleged that the witness was lying.

Senior prosecutor Emilie Fe delos Santos repeatedly cited instances where Lance Corporal Keith Silkwood supposedly lied to the court to save co-accused and prime suspect L/Cpl Daniel Smith.

Smith purportedly raped a 22-year-old Filipina in a moving van while Silkwood, L/Cpl Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier egged him on.

Delos Santos noted that Silkwood left out some information in the counter-affidavit he submitted during the preliminary investigation of the case. She also accused Silkwood of giving the court a “false and fabricated testimony.”

On direct examination by his lawyer, Jose Justiniano, Silkwood testified that at 1 p.m. of November 1, 2005, he disembarked the USS Essex with Smith as his liberty buddy.

Silkwood defined liberty buddy as someone you sign out with and look after to during liberty period.

He said he, Smith and other US Marines went to a market to withdraw money but since the automated teller machines there were offline, they proceeded to a nearby casino where they could get cash.

The casino was too crowded so they transferred to another one just across the street. They gambled and drank there until 7 p.m. then went to Dewey’s bar and stayed there for two to three hours.

They proceeded to Neptune club around 9:30-10 p.m. and occupied a table near the dance floor. Around 11:30 p.m., he met Carpentier who told him to round up some Marines so they could get back to the ship in time for their 12 midnight curfew.

Silkwood started to look for Marines and consequently ran into Duplantis and Smith. He saw that Smith was “talking and flirting” with a Filipina, which he later identified as Nicole.

Nicole, Silkwood said, was sitting on Smith’s lap. She was in a slouched position with her back against Smith’s chest.

Silkwood then relayed to Smith what Carpentier said and then he started to walk out of the club. Duplantis, Smith and Nicole followed. They walked to the van but it was locked and the driver, Timoteo Soriano, wasn’t there.

When Soriano arrived, he entered the van and unlocked all doors. Smith opened the side door and Nicole got in. They then occupied the backseat. Duplantis and Silkwood took the middle row while Carpentier sat next to Soriano.

In the van, Smith and Nicole were “kissing and being flirtatious and kind of making out.” Silkwood said he didn’t do anything about it because he thought it was just a “normal lovemaking.”

He also said that they pulled over near a Yellow Cab pizza parlor because they saw two Marines, Cpl. Corey Burris and L/Cpl. Albert Lara. Burris and Lara approached the van and opened the side door.

Silkwood added that he and Lara laughed at Duplantis who was so drunk that time. He continued that Burris and Lara did not board the van because it was full.

He further recounted that after the side door closed, he heard Smith told Nicole that “he wouldn’t be able to finish.” Nicole then supposedly asked, “Are you done already?” and Smith repeated what he said. Silkwood said he quit listening after that.

He continued that the van stopped at the main pathway to the ship. The place was crowded and around 20-30 people were there.

Duplantis exited the van first, then Silkwood, followed by Nicole and Smith. Smith assisted Nicole, whose pants were still “mid-thigh low.”

At this point, Justiniano asked Silkwood about Joseph Khonghun’s testimony that Nicole was carried out of the van like a pig. Silkwood denied it and the allegation that he held a beer bottle and poured out its content on the sidewalk.

He then said that leaving Nicole behind, the three of them walked towards the ship and got there a few minutes past 12. Smith was the first to arrive, then himself and Duplantis.

Meanwhile, on cross-examination, Silkwood narrated that in the middle of their ride, he saw movements at the backseat.

“Next thing I know, the girl was lying on her back and Smith was halfway on top of her,” he said, adding that he saw this only through his peripheral vision. He neither glanced at nor watched them, he continued.

Silkwood also said that he thought it was not a “big deal” so he didn’t tell anyone in the van about it. “It wasn’t my business,” he added.

Delos Santos asked Silkwood if he talked with Burris and Lara. Silkwood said no, prompting the prosecutor to comment that he was lying because he testified earlier that he joked with them about Duplantis.

She also pointed out that Silkwood did not state in his counter-affidavit what he told US Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent Bruce Warshawsky during an interview at Mandarin Hotel in Makati.

Quoting from Silkwood’s statement to the NCIS, delos Santos read that Burris and Lara exclaimed ‘Oh my gosh! This is happening?’ when they saw Smith having sex at the backseat of the van.

Delos Santos said that the noninclusion of this information showed that Silkwood was lying.”

She also charged Silkwood of “deliberately omit(ting)” it because it would not help him and the other accused.

Silkwood denied the allegation. He said it was not intentional and he thought it was not important.

Delos Santos reminded Silkwood that he was under oath when he executed the statement. Silkwood then countered, “There are no lies in there, maam.”

He further testified that when they reached the pier, someone shouted, “Get that bitch out of the van!” though he was not certain if it was he.

He also said that when Nicole alighted from the van, she sat down on the curb and started yelling, “I’m not a bitch!”

He added that he noticed Nicole having difficulty pulling up her pants. He said he thought either “Nicole was too drunk or she was just having a hard time.”

Meanwhile, delos Santos made Silkwood admit that he had not met Khonghun prior to the latter’s testimony in court and that Silkwood had no ill feelings against him.

Delos Santos pointed out that if Khonghun had no reason at all to testify against Silkwood, then Silkwood’s testimony must be “false and fabricated.”

Then referring to Silkwood’s earlier statement that what he saw was a “normal lovemaking,” delos Santos asked: “Do you think having sex at the backseat of a van in full view of other passengers normal?”

Silkwood answered that it appeared to him to be so and that he was not thinking of the location when he said that.

Laying the basis for her next question, delos Santos reiterated Silkwood’s testimony that during liberty, he was obliged to remain with and protect his liberty buddy.

“Because you are buddies, you cannot take a position different from accused Smith,” delos Santos said.

Justiniano rose to object, but Pozon only ruled that delos Santos specify what she meant by “position.”

“You said that you have to protect your buddy during liberty. Now that all of you are accused of this case, you can’t testify against them,” she continued.

Silkwood again denied the allegation, saying “I can do what I wanna do.”

For her last question, delos Santos asked if Silkwood knew why Nicole would file a rape complaint against them. Silkwood said he could only guess but he didn’t know for sure.

Meanwhile, upon Pozon’s questioning, Silkwood recounted that he did not see Carpentier alight the van when they were dropped off near where the ship was docked.

Silkwood continued that the van left shortly after they got out of it. He also said that he did not see anybody milling around the van or giving serious attention to Nicole.

He also admitted that he consumed around four bottles of beer that night but he was not drunk. He added that it was Duplantis who was the “most drunk” among the four of them. Duplantis, he said, had his head bowed down almost all throughout the ride.

Pozon then asked Silkwood if he saw any resistance from Nicole when she was still in the van.

Silkwood said Nicole did not struggle or scream. She did not punch or kick Smith, or prevent Smith from making love to her, he added.

He also said that based on what he saw, the intercourse was with consent from Nicole. He continued that Nicole was not mad at anyone of them, not even at Smith.

When asked again why Nicole would file a case against them, Silkwood said “Maybe she got upset of that bitch part… Maybe she was put in a situation and somehow it was easier for her to say she was raped.”

Pozon also clarified if there had been any trouble between them and the two security guards at Neptune or between Soriano and the guards.

Security guards Tomas Corpus, Jr. and Gerald Muyot testified that they saw Smith carried Nicole to the van in piggyback style. Their testimonies contradicted Smith’s and Silkwood’s statement that Nicole got into the van on her own.

Silkwood answered negative to both, adding that they even gave tips to Corpus and Muyot.

Pozon then asked: “Why should the guards testify differently as to how Nicole boarded the van?”

Silkwood said he had no idea.