“ARREST Gloria” Condemns U.S. Marines’ Rape of Filipina in Subic
We in the Artists for the Removal of Gloria (ARREST Gloria) condemn in the
strongest possible terms the recent gang-rape of a 22-year-old Filipina by six
US Marine servicemen in Subic, Zambales. The perpetrators of this unthinkably
bestial act – Keith Silkwood, Daniel Smith, Albert Lara, Dominic Duplantis,
Corey Barris and Chad Carpenter – have been stationed in Subic for the past few
months as participants in the joint US-RP military exercises in the former
American naval base.
Based on initial findings from Subic police, the victim was visiting a karaoke
bar Nov. 1 when she met the six American servicemen, who pretended to befriend
her and invited her to go with them in a rented van. A few hours later,
witnesses said, the young woman was seen being dumped unconscious from a van on
We likewise condemn President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her deafening silence
on this atrocity against the dignity of a Filipina.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo has been reported as having expressed
“concern” about the “claims” related to this crime, and said he would support
all efforts at investigating, prosecuting, and trying the case. Justice
Secretary Raul Gonzalez has gone public urging the US Embassy, which now has
custody of the six US Marine servicemen, to present them once a case is filed
against them in court.
While whether the two Cabinet secretaries will live up to their seemingly bold
statements still remains to be seen and there is definitely a lot more that
they could have said, it is disgusting that two underlings have beaten
President Arroyo to the draw in issuing statements on this crime by foreigners
against one of our own. President Arroyo, who calls herself Ina ng Bayan every
chance she gets, carries the biggest responsibility in this issue – having
aggressively promoted the Balikatan military exercises which brought the six
rapists to this country in the first place.
In late 2001 President Arroyo – who had been installed into power just months
before through a popular uprising – was all over the papers and television
practically pointing the dirty finger at all anti-Balikatan groups and
personalities, calling them “un-Filipino.” They included staunch nationalists
Wigberto Tañada, Roland Simbulan, and Amado Gat. Inciong.
She fabricated the belief that with not a little help from the US troops, our
soldiers will be able to wipe out terrorists. More than three years after the
Balikatan military exercises commenced, the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) is all over the papers and television pushing for an Anti-Terrorism Bill
that would supposedly help in their pursuit of the various groups it has chosen
to label as “terrorist.” We wonder what happened to all the help that US troops
have supposedly been providing the Philippine military under the Balikatan.
President Arroyo pushed for the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA),
which grants US troops the “right” to bring military equipment into the country
from any entry point. The MLSA serves as a companion treaty to the Visiting
Forces Agreement (VFA), which grants extraterritorial and extrajudicial
“rights” to visiting US servicemen. In 1998 and 1999, then Vice President
Arroyo joined then President Joseph Estrada in pushing for the VFA, even doing
a duet with him in calling its opponents the worst names.
All these, she repeatedly said, are needed to wipe out the “terrorist” threat.
In arguing thus, she ignores the fact that our supposed military allies from
the US have a record of abandoning us in our most trying moments. In World War
II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur led in the evacuation of the bulk of American forces
from the Philippines – returning with his troops only when the war was
practically over as our various guerrilla units had captured all top officials
of the Japanese Imperial Army. The US similarly refused to commit military aid
to us in the 1990s, when our claim on the Kalayaan Reef of the Spratlys was
under threat from China – despite the continued existence of the Mutual Defense
She likewise ignores the fact that in the years when the Philippines hosted US
military bases, American servicemen would every so often prey on hapless
Filipinas and use the influence of their government to escape Philippine
justice – all while choosing to abandon the Philippines in its most trying
moments, even as they were here supposedly for RP-US mutual defense.
This is the kind of President we now have in Malacañang – a President who
chooses to uphold a farcical RP-US military alliance at the expense of the
dignity of a fellow Filipina – all while maintaining a presidency reacquired in
the last election by fraudulent means and driving the people into deeper and
deeper penury by the day. The country has no need for this kind of President.
Artists for the Removal of Gloria (ARREST Gloria)
November 4, 2005
Southern Tagalog Exposure
KASIBULAN Women Visual Artists’ Collective
KUMASA (Kulturang Ugnayan ng Manggagawa at Uring Anakpawis sa Timog
ARTIST, Inc. (Arts Research and Training Institute in Southern Tagalog)
Kilometer 64 Poetry Group
Tambisan sa Sining
APLAYA (Artistang Pangkultura ng Mamamalakaya sa Timog Katagalugan)
Gian Paolo Mayuga
Lourd de Veyra
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on Nov. 15th 2005