A 22-year-old student has come out to expose her alleged rape by a US Marine inside a Makati City hotel. But the victim said she won’t press charges, citing the case of “Nicole.”
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA — Another Filipina rape victim has surfaced, pointing to yet another American soldier as the perpetrator.
In a press conference Thursday morning, Vanessa (not her real name) recounted how a US Marine allegedly raped her inside a room at a five-star hotel in Makati City on April 19.
The alleged crime took place four days before the Philippine Court of Appeals overturned the rape conviction of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, another US Marine convicted in 2006 of raping a Filipino woman in Subic, the former US military facility north of Manila.
Vanessa, her back to the cameras, narrates her plight during a press conference on Thursday. (Photo by Ayi Muallam/Bulatlat.com)
Lawyer Evalyn Ursua, Vanessa’s counsel, said they decided not to reveal the name of the suspect to protect the victim. The women’s group Gabriela, which helps Vanessa, used the alias “John Jones” in referring to the alleged rapist.
Gabriela secretary-general Emmi de Jesus said they were able to confirm from hotel records that the US serviceman was from the Joint US Military Assistance Group (Jusmag) assigned to the Balikatan, the ongoing US-Philippine military exercises.
In her account, Vanessa, a 22-year-old college student in a private university, said the US Marine had “fooled” her into going with him to his hotel room, telling her that several of his friends were at the hotel.
In a statement she read during the press conference at the Gabriela office in Quezon City, her back to the camera, Vanessa said Jones approached her group at a club at The Fort in Taguig City on April 10. Jones introduced himself as a US Marine, then asked for her cellphone number. From that day on, they had been exchanging text messages.
On the night of April 18, Vanessa went out with her cousin and a male friend. At around 3:30 a.m., Jones, along with three women, met with Vanessa at the bar. By now , Vanessa’s companion had left to meet a friend. Jones then asked Vanessa to go to a five-star hotel in Makati City, saying that his girlfriend and some of his and her friends – including those that Vanessa had met on April 15 — were already at his hotel room. Vanessa went with Jones, thinking that she was going to meet familiar people.
Vanessa was surprised to see that nobody else was in the hotel room. Jones told her that his friends would arrive in five minutes. When not one of the friends Jones mentioned arrived, Vanessa told Jones she wanted to go home.
It was then that Jones threw her onto the bed and slapped her, Vanessa said. “Why you do that? (sic)” Vanessa quoted Jones as telling her. He then repeatedly slapped her and grabbed her arms.
Vanessa, shown with Gabriela’s Emmi de Jesus, said the US soldier “fooled” her into going with him to his hotel room. (Photo by Ayi Muallam/Bulatlat.com)
“I struggled and shouted ‘No! No! Don’t do that! You’re hurting me! I want to go home!’” Vanessa said in Tagalog. “Jones was now on top of me and kissing me on the lips and breast, all the while pinning down my arms,” she narrated.
Now crying, Vanessa continued: “I can’t recall exactly how it happened but Jones managed to undress me. My throat had become hoarse and painful from shouting. My cheeks were already numb and I was crying and crying.”
Then, Vanessa said, now breaking down, Jones forced himself into her.
No rape case yet
Ursua, Vanessa’s lawyer, said they have the name and the photograph of the US Marine, the medico-legal report, documents and other physical evidence to prove that the victim was indeed raped. “She reported the case immediately, within 24 hours,” Ursua said.
But Vanessa, Ursua added, is not planning to file any case yet against the perpetrator.