Subic Rape Case
Smith Guilty, 3 other U.S. Marines Acquitted!
Posted 2:45 p.m., Dec. 4, 2006
After more than a year
of Nicole’s ordeal, Judge Benjamin Pozon of Branch 139 of the Makati
Regional Trial Court found Lance Corporal Daniel Smith guilty of raping
Nicole; sentenced him to reclusion perpetua; and committed him
temporarily to the Makati City Jail while waiting for the final resolution
of any appeal which may be filed by the defense. Pursuant to the Visiting
Forces Agreement, the Philippine and U.S. governments are supposed to
decide where Smith will be serving his sentence.
Lance Corporals Dominic Duplantis and Keith Silkwood and Staff Sergeant
Chad Carpentier were acquitted. Judge Pozon concluded that the
prosecution failed to prove that the three other accused had participated
in the planning and commission of the rape on Nicole.
Evalyn Ursua, private
prosecutor, hailed the decision, praised Judge Pozon for his independence,
and admitted to the limitations of the evidence against the three other
accused. On the other hand, Ricardo Diaz, one of Smith’s counsels, said
that they have already filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals.
He also questioned the decision of Judge Pozon to commit Smith to the
Makati City Jail. He claimed that the case is still not yet finally
resolved and thus, Smith should still be confined at the U.S. embassy.
Nicole said she is
happy with the conviction of Smith and is sad that the three other accused
were acquitted. When asked about her reaction to the appeal, she said that
it was expected.
Meanwhile, there was
jubilation among the ralliers outside the court comprised by GABRIELA,
Task Force Subic Rape, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, among others. Rep. Liza
Masa of GABRIELA Women’s Party said that the decision is a “partial
victory for women and the Filipino people” and that the Arroyo government
should have the political will to take custody of Smith. Bulatlat
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© 2006 Bulatlat
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