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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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.

Militant women slam DOJ for public prosecutor’s poor showing

Press Release
Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan (KAISA KA)
September 12, 2006
Reference: Atty. Virginia Pinlac, Chairperson (0920-9215248)

 

“Is the DOJ deliberately asking for a poor showing for the case or are we to believe we have ‘incompetent’ public prosecutors?”

This was the question posed by the militant women’s organization Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan (KAISA KA) after witnessing yesterday’s poor performance from the public prosecutors as L/Cpl Daniel Smith took the stand for the defense’s opening salvo on the controversial Subic Rape case.

In a picket-protest in front of the Makati Regional Trial Court, members of KAISA KA rallied in support of Nicole while chiding the public prosecutors for not putting up a fight in court.

According to Atty. Virgie Pinlac, spokesperson for KAISA KA, the poor showing is highly suspect because the defense’ side announced their game plan a few days ago. She raised fears that the DOJ may be deliberately trying to lose the case due to pressure from the US government.

“Are we being sold out by our own?” lamented Pinlac.

Previously, KAISA KA along with other member organizations of Task Force Subic Rape held several rallies and pickets before the DOJ in reaction to Secretary Gonzales’s comments that raised possible exoneration of the four US Marines.

KAISA KA pointed out that the outcome of the Subic Rape case will have strong repercussions on the US-RP relations in the future especially because Filipinos the past were unable to successfully prosecute any US soldier for crimes committed in the country.

If the US sees that we buckle down on this case, we can expect more Nicoles or worse in the future because they know WE DON’T take care of our own,” ended Pinlac.   

‘Smith Ruined My Life’—Nicole

Press Release
Task Force Subic Rape and the Nicole Information Bureau

“He cannot blame me for ruining his military career and taking a year off of his life. It was he who ruined mine.”  

This was the reaction of Subic rape victim ‘Nicole’ to US Marine Daniel Smith’s statements published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star last Monday.

Nicole revealed in her testimony on July 13 that this case has adversely affected her entire family.

Among others, she said she lost P40,000 monthly income from the DVD business she used to run before the rape incident. Her mother had to quit her job and her two older brothers’ jobs’ have suffered in the pursuit of the case. Her stepsister also had to reject a job offer and another brother had to quit school so they could help out in the family canteen that ‘Nicole’ used to manage. ‘Nicole’ said the family gets its income from this canteen. 

‘Nicole’ added that she has suffered from sleepless nights and depression since she was raped.

She also said she wanted to look for a job but couldn’t because she was afraid of what people might say if they find out that she is a rape victim.

 “I want to confront him. It was he who abused me. He is only reaping what he sowed,” she said.  

According to Task Force Subic Rape spokesperson Myrla Baldonado, it is Nicole who has to live with the horror of the rape. 

Baldonado added that tension is mounting as the trial of what is believed to be the litmus test of US-RP relations heats up.  

TFSR added that this case is not only about the rape of Nicole, but also about vindicating the dignity of Filipino women. In the heyday of the US Bases, no US serviceman was ever charged for various abuses committed against Filipinos.  

Task Force Subic Rape is a broad coalition of concerned women’s groups, organizations and individuals who are in full support of ‘Nicole’’s quest for justice.   

The Nicole Information Bureau, on the other hand, is the information arm of the Nicole Defense Campaign composed of student volunteers from the University of the Philippines.