MANILA, Philippines – Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, the American who was earlier convicted by a lower court of raping a Filipina in Subic, was acquitted by the Court of Appeals (CA).
The Philippines has many ‘Nicoles’
The Philippines has many “Nicoles,” but only Suzette Nicolas was served justice when the Makati Regional Trial Court convicted Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith of rape on December 4, 2006.
From 1981 to 1988, when the US military bases were in the Philippines, 3,274 cases of abuse of women and children were filed against US servicemen in Subic and Clark. However, not one of the US servicemen was convicted.
Data from the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office showed that during the same period, cases of rape and sexual abuse involving children ages 11 to 16 were filed against US servicemen. Another 82 cases of sexual abuse involving young women were also recorded. All of these cases were dismissed.
Ninety-seven of these cases, in which 15 children were involved, were filed by the non-government Bikolana Gabriela against American soldiers in Clark and Subic.
Smith was the first-ever American military personnel who was convicted of committing a crime on Philippine soil since the establishment of the US military bases at the Subic Bay Naval Base in Zambales province and Clark Air Base in Angeles, Pampanga and the passage of the Visiting Forces Agreement in 1999. – GMANews.TV
April 23, 2009
Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SMITH ACQUITTAL A COLLABORATIVE MANEUVER BY ARROYO & US GOV’T TO PROTECT VFA– BAYAN USA
BAYAN-USA, an alliance of Filipino organizations in the United States, declared the recent court acquittal of US Marine Daniel Smith of a rape conviction back in 2006 as a collaborative move by the US and Arroyo governments to protect the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
The controversial decision comes right after a Philippine Supreme Court (SC) ruling to probe into the circumstances surrounding the affidavit issued by rape victim Nicole and the leakage of a draft Court of Appeals (CA) ruling of acquittal for Smith last week, prompting CA officials to act fast.
The 2005 rape of 22 year-old Filipina Nicole leading to the 2006 trial and conviction US Lance Corporal Smith was a landmark case that marked the first time in the 100+ history of US military presence in the country that a US military personnel was actually convicted under the Philippine judicial system for a crime committed in the Philippines. But the events following the celebrated conviction, beginning with Smith’s transfer of custody from Philippine jurisdiction to the US Embassy drew such outrage and condemnation from the streets that it sparked a burgeoning patriotic movement inside Philippine Congress to abrogate the 10 year-old VFA military agreement, which allows for the “temporary basing” of US military troops in over 20 ports throughout the Philippine archipelago.