17 March 2009
Nicole’s recantation served as her visa to the US, and perhaps to a ‘greener’ pasture. The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) expressed this view in reaction to a report that the rape victim terminated the service of her lawyer and left the country for good.
“We can only commiserate with Nicole for being a victim twice over,” said Judy Ann Miranda, PM’s secretary-general, lamenting further that in doing so the young lady from Zamboanga may have, in effect, forfeited her claim for justice against Daniel Smith and against a virtual ‘gang rape’ by the Philippine and US governments.
Miranda said that though PM respects the decision of Nicole since every woman has the right to decide over her own body and her own fate, the circumstances which pressured or forced her into a compromise is more telling than her decision to live a peaceful life.
“On the one hand the Arroyo administration’s surrogate stance against the US in pursuing Nicole’s case weakened the fight for ultimate justice, while on the other the US’ propensity to breach Philippine laws reduced Nicole into a little brown lady fighting against the world’s mightiest warlord,” said Miranda, adding that the two governments may have orchestrated this move "to restore soured relations."
Miranda, however, said the fight for justice remains very much alive within the women movement as this development simply transforms the fight into a political one –a fight for justice and sovereignty against US imperialism.
PM has been consistently behind Nicole and the women movement’s fight for justice against US serviceman Daniel Smith and on the campaign for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
“Unfortunately for Corporal Daniel Smith, Nicole’s recantation may be enough to confuse the bar of public opinion but it is not good enough to overturn a court’s conviction. And for Obama who might have thanked Gloria for assuring him of a status quo for the VFA when he called her up last week, unfortunately he dialed a person who does not represent the true sentiment of the Filipino people,” concludes Miranda. ###