Sep 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/04/06MANILA1841.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1841 2006-04-27 10:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #1841 1171006
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271006Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0747
INFO RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 001841

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, L/EAP
DOD FOR ISA/AP GENERAL ALLEN
PACOM ALSO FOR FPA AND GENERAL GOODMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/26/2016
TAGS: PREL MARR RP
SUBJECT: HANDLING THE MARINE “RAPE” CASE — NEXT STEPS

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (SBU) With the imminent arraignment (likely on April 28)
of four Marines accused in a case of rape of a Filipina in
Subic Bay on November 1, 2005, this case and the utility of
the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) will re-emerge in the
spotlight after a relatively quiet four months. An
outstanding motion from the complainant’s lawyer regarding
the Constitutionality of the VFA, as well as April 21
instructions from the Department of Justice to the
prosecutors to seek reduction of the charges against three of
the Marines may temporarily delay this arraignment, but
likely not for long.

¶2. (C) Once the trial begins, defense lawyers expect that
the court will conduct approximately two hearings per week.
Our JUSMAG and RSO will coordinate all arrangements for
ensuring the safety of the accused when present at the court
as required, while PAS will handle media exposure. An ACS
representative will monitor the trial and respond to
inquiries from family members, as needed.

¶3. (C) Through our repeated public statements and in our
private conversations with senior GRP officials and members
of the Philippine Congress, we have continued to steer a
steady course that protects the rights of the four Marines
and furthers our long-term interests in the Philippines in
general and in our mil/mil relationship in particular. These
include:
— maintaining focus on the shared US/Philippine legal
principle of “innocent until proven guilty;”
— holding firm to the principle enshrined in the VFA of the
primacy of US custody, despite repeated calls by the GRP, the
Philippine Congress, and the public for transfer to
Philippine custody;
— ensuring proper respect for the privacy of the accused,
subject to the advice of their counsels about access by
outsiders;
— demonstrating respect for the primary role of the defense
counsels of the four Marines (each with his own set of
lawyers) in developing the legal defense strategy;
— expressing our shared determination to ensure a fair and
impartial trial under Philippine jurisdiction, with
Philippine prosecutors, lawyers, and judges;
— reiterating the value of the VFA to the national
interests of both countries;
— convincing members of the Philippine Congress to abandon,
at least for the duration of the trial, any effort to
abrogate the VFA; and,
— deferring Philippine calls for renegotiation of
provisions of the VFA, notably on custody and on the “one
year rule.”

¶4. (C) Embassy will continue to work vigorously to uphold
these objectives, and would like to express our appreciation
for the continuing support and advice from the Department, in
particular EAP and L/EAP, as well as from III MEF and PACOM,
as we navigate the difficult legal, political, and public
relations waters surrounding this matter. We will continue
to monitor developments closely and to maintain the regular
Embassy working group meetings.

¶5. (C) We remain determined to ensure that this first test
of the VFA is a success story that results in a fair trial
with a just outcome and at the same time that demonstrates
the continuing viability and relevance of the VFA as an
effective mechanism for our ongoing military exchanges and
exercises, which are already making headway here in the war
on terror.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/
Kenney

   

 

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