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'Nicole' statement to be used as VFA justification - solon
In The Press Posted on March 17th, 2009.
MANILA, Philippines - The statement of "Nicole" virtually
clearing Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith of raping her would likely be used to
justify the controversial RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a
feminist lawmaker warned Wednesday.
"Nicole's recantation is now a scapegoat to justify VFA amid mounting calls to terminate this unequal agreement," Gabriela party-list Rep. Liza Maza told GMANews.TV in a text message.
As long as the VFA was in place, victims of crimes of US soldiers in our country would never get justice, Maza said.
Fellow Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said mounting calls for the VFA's abrogation might have pushed the US government to pressure Nicole to backtrack on her accusation that she was raped by Smith in Subic in November 2005.
"Obviously that is a recantation borne out of extreme pressure," Ilagan said in a text message to GMANews.TV, adding that the supposed rape victim's frustration with the "snail-paced justice system" might have also contributed to her decision.