Friday, April 28, 2006

Motion to reduce charges dismissed vs. Subic USMC accused

At the Makati RTC; Judge Benjamin Pozon of Branch 139 dismissed a motion of the prosecution to reduce the charges filed versus 3 of the US Marines accused in the Subic Rape case.

The Motion filed by the Philippine DOJ, was "Dismissed" for "lack of merit" and furter the Judge ruled that the motion be expunged from the record of the case.

Earlier the DOJ, had sought to reduce the charge of rape versus three others accused in the case, The three will continue as "principle accused"are Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis, and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier.
Who along with Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, the principal accused of the accused in the case will be facing the full case at this time.

The men are scheduled to be seen for the first time as they are formally arraigned at the makati hall of justice at 2pm, Friday, the case was reassigned after "difficulties" in the original venue for the case; when the original judge inhibited himself in the case.

The US embassy has assured the men would face the court as part of the process of the trial the embassy has custody of the men under a joint military agreement with the Philippines on cases filled versus US personal accused of wrongdoing under the visiting forces agreement.

Meanwhile the Legal Panel of support for the victim in the case has been beefed up;

" A former vice president, a former senator, and a law dean have joined the team working as private counsels for the complainant in the Subic rape case. Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., former Sen. Rene Saguisag, and Lyceum of the Philippines College of Law dean Pacifico Agabin have joined lawyers Evalyn Ursua, Honorato Aquino, and Anna Lisa Gonzales in lawyering for “Nicole,” the 22-year-old woman who was allegedly raped by four U.S. Marines in Subic, Zambales in November last year. " More at

The case has galvanized "Leftist or progressive groups"depending on your point of view; Anti-American, Anti-War, and, Anti-US forces groups have rallied behind the victim, in the Philippines who see the case; in their eyes as "all that is worng with the presence of US forces in the Philippines." or thierwebsites nad statements issued go...

In particular the RP-US VFA or visiting forces agreement, which gives legal protection to US troops charged with criminal offences, a measure of protection under the agreement not provided for in US law. Where off-duty Military personel who would be charged in a offense would face a civilian court - like anyone else.

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