Rape in Philippines`
- News Release
24 April 2009
Reference: Joms Salvador, 3712302 / 09189182150
Storms Philippine Appellate Court/US Embassy, outraged over Smith's Acquittal
The militant women's group GABRIELA
stormed the Court of Appeals this morning and later proceeded to the
US Embassy to express outrage over the Higher Court's decision to
acquit Lance Corporal Daniel Smith.
â€œThe Court of Appeals betrayed the Filipinos. By acquitting Smith, they have trampled on the hard-fought
justice of women on the Subic rape case and the fight of all
Filipinos to defend our dignity as a people,â€� said Joms Salvador,
The women's group said that the Higher
Court abandoned its responsibility to the Filipino people to deliver
justice by overturning the lower court's guilty verdict on Smith in
â€œJustice Pozon soundly handed Smith a
guilty verdict based on clear evidences that Nicole was raped. He
stood on the side of justice despite tremendous political pressure
but this is now nullified by the decision of Court of Appeals that
clearly reeks of political maneuvering,â€� added Salvador.
â€œAll recent developments on the Subic
rape case, including the termination of Nicole's legal counsel and
the recent affidavit of Nicole, all points to political manipulations
being orchestrated no less than the US and the Philippine
government,â€� said Salvador.
The women's group said that Smith's
acquittal aims to end all contentions on the custody of the convicted
US soldier. â€œThe US government's adamant refusal to turn over Smith
to Philippine authorities underscores the grossly unequal relations
of US and the Philippines under the Visiting Forces Agreement.â€�
The constitutionality of the VFA is set
to be taken up by the Philippine senate, spurred by the US
government's inaction to turn over Smith despite a Supreme Court
decision last February.
â€œNotwithstanding the CA decision, the
truth remains that the US soldier Smith raped a Filipina. The truth
remains that through VFA, US soldiers can get away with ravaging our
people; that VFA violates our sovereignty. The fight for justice and
the fight to junk VFA continues,â€� concluded Salvador.
35 Sct. Delgado St, Brgy. Laging Handa
Quezon City, 1103 Philippines
TeleFax: (632) 374 44 23
GABRIELA is a grassroots-based alliance of more than 200 women's organizations, institutions, desks and programs in the Philippines. We seek to wage a struggle for the liberation of women and the rest of our people.
I am interested in the homeless, but they're a symptom. You're treating a symptom and the disease rages on and consumes the human race. I'm talking about an overhaul of the system: putting power in different hands. - Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon