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                                                                                                           Ms. Ronadale Zapata


07 November 2005

Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro wants justice to be served on the alleged rape of a 22-year old Filipino by six United States servicemen in Subic last week.

The Vice President hopes that with the Philippine government’s all-out support the alleged victim will not be discouraged in pursuing the case against the suspects.

Vice President De Castro believes that this case would show the whole world that justice can be fairly and expeditiously meted out in the Philippines contrary to perceptions that the justice system in the country is slow if not inutile.

Ito ay magiging test case para sa paggawad ng katarungan dito sa ating bayan. Kung hindi natin magagawaran ng tamang paghatol ang mga mapapatunayang nagkasala sa kasong ito laban sa isa nating kababayan, lalo tayong lalabas na katawa-tawa at magiging kawawa sa pananaw ng mundo at paglalaruan na lang ng kung sino-sino.

In this regard, the Vice President called on the justice department to act with dispatch on the case and not allow it to drag.  Under the Visiting Forces Agreement between the US and RP, there is a one-year period to complete the criminal proceedings.  After one year, the US military authorities are no longer obliged to guarantee the appearance of the accused US servicemen.

Vice President De Castro pointed out that the first female US ambassador to the Philippines, Kristie Anne Kenney, who was recently designated by President Bush, he expects her to be more sympathetic to the plight of the rape victim.

At the same time, Vice President De Castro called on American authorities to cooperate and turn over the suspects to Philippine authorities as soon as it is warranted. He explained that he is confident that
American authorities will fully cooperate in the potentially capital offense case.

The Vice President also viewed this shocking event as an opportunity for the Philippine-American relations to strengthen further based mainly on mutual respect for each other and in upholding the human rights of both the victim and the accused.                                                                                             HOME | back-to-top

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