Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4436 2006-10-20 08:10 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
DE RUEHML #4436 2930810
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200810Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3593
INFO RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA IMMEDIATE 0039
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 004436
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR KCRM CASC RP
SUBJECT: MARINE CASE UPDATE 10/20/06
REF: MANILA 4257 AND PREVIOUS
¶1. Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Benjamin Pozon publicly
promised to take a two week period exclusively to review the
evidence in the case in order to render a verdict November
¶2. In a television interview aired by ABS-CBN October 17,
two of the Marines again professed their innocence. LCpl
Daniel Smith said, “I don’t feel that I have anything to
apologize for. I think it should be the other way around.
She’s ruined our lives and I didn’t do anything wrong and not
one of these guys did anything wrong and so there would be no
reason for us to apologize.” SSgt Chad Carpentier added,
“knowing we did nothing wrong, we can’t imagine a guilty
verdict… obviously there is fear in the back of our minds,
but we tend to believe that justice will prevail and we’ll go
home.” Portions of this television interview were also
carried widely in Philippine print media.
¶3. With the verdict expected next month, Emboffs at all
levels will decline to speculate publicly or privately on the
verdict or its possible aftermath, while continuing to
underscore the presumption of innocence of the accused.
Current public affairs talking points on this case are:
– This has been an emotional and difficult case for everyone
– It is the principle of Philippine and American law that
anyone accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven
guilty. The U.S. is committed to seeing that justice is
served, through a fair and impartial process that can provide
for a just outcome.
– The U.S. has cooperated with Philippine authorities in
accordance with the Visiting Forces Agreement since day one.
The case is being tried by a Philippine judge under
– It would be inappropriate for the United States to
speculate on the verdict that the Philippine judge may render.
¶4. Mission continues to provide security, citizen services,
and other support to the defendants. Personnel from III MEF,
JUSMAG, the Regional Security Office (RSO), and the Consular
Section attended all court sessions. RSO was consistently
pleased with the extent and quality of security support
provided by the mayor’s office and police department, and
expects the same level of cooperation on the day of the
verdict. The Consular Section has responded to family member
inquiries. Embassy continues to provide access to some
fitness and sports facilities on the Chancery grounds for the
four Marines, whose morale remains good.