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Gabriela: Nicole's recantation an 'unfortunate' twist
In The Press Posted on March 18th, 2009.
MANILA, Philippines -- Women’s group Gabriela once again expressed sympathy to Subic rape victim Nicole, who recently recanted her statement that she was raped by a US marine.
Liza Maza, Gabriela Party’s representative, branded Nicole’s recantation as “unfortunate,” saying the victim will further solidify their group’s strong stand against the controversial Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
“Nicole’s recantation just made her a victim of three aspects: Rape, the government and the VFA,” Maza told philstar.com in a phone interview today.
Maza added that the recent turn of events reflects the grim state of the country’s justice system. She earlier said it is up to President Arroyo to serve full justice to Nicole.
“The burden now in seeing to it that full justice is served lies in the hands of President Arroyo. She should assert Philippine custody of Smith and she is the one who should be blamed not Nicole if and when Smith continues to get away with the crime,” Maza said in a press release published in Gabriela’s official website
“Right from the start, the Arroyo administration has barely fought for the rights of Nicole and other Filipino women abused by American troops. President Arroyo’s unparalleled commitment to the US-RP VFA has indeed allowed more abuses and exploitation to all Filipinos,” she added.
Maza said her group’s continuing battle against the VFA will be demonstrated in a series of protests around Metro Manila, including a rally at the US Embassy on March 21.
It was reported that Nicole’s former attorney said Nicole accepted P100,000 in moral and exemplary damages from Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith and left the country to stay in the US “for good.” - By Dino Maragay (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)