Sep 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/11/05MANILA5231.html
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA5231
2005-11-03 01:12
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MANILA 005231

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, L/EAP
PACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/2015
TAGS: PREL MARR ASEC PHUM PGOV PINS RP
SUBJECT: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN ALLEGED RAPE CASE INVOLVING US MARINES

REF: A. MANILA 5138

¶B. COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI 030112Z NOV 05
¶C. OPREP-3/CTF 76.4/022000Z NOV 05 (NOTAL)

Classified By: A/DCM Scott Bellard for reasons
1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (U) This is an action request — see para 6.

¶2. (C) Summary: Acting Foreign Secretary Seguis delivered
to Embassy on November 8 formal subpoenas for six US Marines
allegedly involved in the rape of a Filipina in Olongapo City
on November 1 (see text of Dip Note and DFA press release in
paras 10-11). Both the GRP and the USG continue
investigating the case under the mechanisms provided by the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The Marines remain in US
Embassy custody, although the GRP may soon request that it
assume custody. Embassy requests guidance on how we should
best respond to such an eventual request (see para 6). We
continue to consult with Philippine Congressional and other
leaders, and to reiterate our commitment to proceeding under
the VFA, with the Marines in US custody but available for
investigation and any judicial hearings. The GRP has
continued to express its support for the VFA, but both the
VFA and USG have received some sharp criticism from national
and local politicians, as well as various activist groups.
End Summary.

¶3. (C) The Philippine Department of Justice, through the
Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office, issued subpoenas on
November 8 to US Marines Keith Silkwood, Daniel Smith, Albert
Lara, Corey Burris, Chad Carpenter, and Dominic Duplantis,
suspects in the alleged rape of a 22-year old Filipina in
Olongapo City on November 1. The Olongapo City Prosecutor’s
Office received the complaint of rape against Silkwood,
Smith, Lara, Burris, Carpenter, and one “John Doe” on
November 3. (Note: The criminal complaint did not include
Duplantis’ name. It listed the other five marines plus a
“John Doe” as the accused. End Note.) The Prosecutor’s
Office also on November 8 transmitted to the DOJ the
subpoenas, which Acting Foreign Secretary Seguis then
transmitted to A/DCM (copy faxed to EAP/MTS). According to
the subpoenas, respondents must either personally appear or
be represented by their counsel on November 23 and 29 for
preliminary investigation hearings. A/DCM pledged full
cooperation under the terms of the VFA.

¶4. (C) VFA Commission Executive Secretary Zosimo Paredes
separately told Poloff on November 7 that he would soon send
to Foreign Secretary Romulo a recommendation that the GRP
request custody of the Marines under the VFA provision that:
“in extraordinary cases, the Philippine government shall
present its position to the United States Government
regarding custody, which the United States Government shall
take into full account.” He opined that the request would
defuse political tensions surrounding the case.

¶5. (C) A/DCM urged Acting Secretary Seguis that the Marines
should remain in US custody. Both Acting Secretary Seguis
and Chief Prosecutor Zuno confirmed that there was no request
by the GRP for transfer of custody at this time. Zuno
emphasized that the case remained only under investigation,
with no charges filed. Should charges be filed later, judges
would likely issue arrest warrants, at which time the GRP
would consider invoking the relevant clause of the VFA for
Philippine custody. A/DCM reiterated our preference for US
custody but with all appropriate access to GRP authorities.
Local media filmed the turnover of the subpoenas and later
questioned A/DCM outside the Secretary’s office. A/DCM
reiterated full USG cooperation under the VFA, in accordance
with the principle of presumption of innocence under US and
Philippine law.

¶6. (C) Action Request: Embassy would welcome guidance from
EAP and L/EAP on how we should best respond to a formal
request for transfer of custody under the VFA. End Action
Request.

¶7. (C) The six Marines are now detailed TDY to JUSMAG, under
the responsibility of the Mission. They are currently in a
JUSMAG residence. All are on now in the process of retaining
local counsel. The US Naval Criminal Investigation Service
(NCIS) continues its parallel investigation into the case.

¶8. (SBU) The alleged rape has drawn considerable media
attention locally. Embassy statements that we will cooperate
with the GRP under the terms of the VFA have received wide
and generally favorable coverage. The case has nonetheless
also engendered sparsely-attended protests, largely from
leftist and traditionally anti-American groups, who are
calling for sole Philippine jurisdiction over the case and an
end to the VFA. Contacts at the GRP’s National Security
Council confirmed that some groups plan to organize a
“National Day of Protest” on November 10. Several senators
have called for a re-evaluation of the VFA, and six
legislators at the House of Representatives have stated that
they will file a resolution calling for the abrogation of the
VFA. Other national and local politicians have used the
event as an opportunity to engage in broad criticism of the
US. CDA and A/DCM continue to consult closely with the
Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairmen and other
concerned politicians.

¶9. (C) The GRP continues to stand firmly behind the VFA.
However, on the margins of USAID Assistant Administrator
Kunder’s November 8 call, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
told CDA that the GRP would need to “see how this all
develops,” noting that “if this were just a driver being
beaten up, that would be one thing, but this was a woman and
we in the Philippines treat our women with respect.”

¶10. (U) Text of Dip Note:

The Department of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to
the Embassy of the United States of America and wishes to
refer to the primary right of the Philippines to exercise
jurisdiction pursuant to paragraph 1(a) and paragraph 3(a),
Article V of the Agreement Between the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United
States of America Regarding the Treatment of United States
Armed Forces Visiting the Philippines (“the Agreement”) in
relation to the complaints of rape filed against certain
United States military personnel at the City Prosecution
Office of Olangapo City.

The Department has the further honor to give formal
notification, in accordance with paragraphs 4 and 7 of
Article V of the Agreement, and in particular paragraph 6 of
Article V of the Agreement, for the Embassy to make the
respondents named in the attached Subpoenas issued by
Olongapo City Prosecutor Prudencio B. Jalandoni dated 08
November 2005, available to the Office of the City
Prosecution of Olongapo City on the time and dates specified
in the Subpoenas for the preliminary investigation of the
charges of rape.

The Department also wishes to point out to the portion of the
Subpoenas that give the opportunity for the respondents to
submit within the time allowed their counter-affidavits and
other supporting documents to the City Prosecution Office of
Olongapo City, furnishing copies to the complainant named in
the Subpoena.

The Department also wishes to refer to the portion of the
Subpoenas that state that failure to submit
counter-affidavits within the time allowed will be deemed a
waiver of the right to preliminary investigation and that the
case shall be resolved on the basis of the evidence presented
by the complainant.

The Department of Foreign Affairs avails itself of this
opportunity to renew to the Embassy of the United States of
America the assurances of its highest consideration.

Pasay City, 8 November, 2005

End Text.

¶11. (U) Text of Press Release from the Department of Foreign
Affairs:

Statement of Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Rafael E.
Seguis on the formal notification requiring the presence of
the accused US service at the preliminary investigation on
charges of rape, 8 November 2005

The Department of Foreign Affairs today reiterated its
primary right to exercise jurisdiction pursuant to paragraph
1(a) and paragraph 3(a), Article V of the Agreement Between
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Government of the United States of America Regarding the
Treatment of United States Armed Forces Visiting the
Philippines (“the Agreement”) in relation to the complaints
of rape filed against certain United States military
personnel at the City Prosecution Office of Olongapo City.

In this connection, the Department gave formal notification
today, in accordance with paragraphs 4 and 7 of Article V of
the Agreement, and in particular paragraph 6 of Article V of
the Agreement, for the US Embassy to make the respondents
named in the Subpoenas issued by Olongapo City Prosecutor
Prudencio B. Jalandoni dated 08 November 2005, available to
the Office of the City Prosecution Of Olongapo City on the
time and dates specified in the Subpoenas for the preliminary
investigation of the charges of rape.

The Department has received the assurance of the US Embassy
of their full cooperation and compliance with their treaty
commitments under the Agreement.

The Department will continue to work closely with the
appropriate Philippine authorities to ensure that justice is
served.

End Text.

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

Jones

   

 

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