Oct 032014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/05/06MANILA1968.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1968 2006-05-08 08:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #1968/01 1280839
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 080839Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0882
INFO RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 001968

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, L/EAP, EAP/PD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/05/2016
TAGS: PREL MARR KCRM CASC RP
SUBJECT: MARINE CASE UPDATE 5/5/06

REF: A. MANILA 1866

¶B. MANILA 1841 AND PREVIOUS

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

¶1. (C) Summary. On May 3, the Ambassador raised concerns
over the alleged rape case with Philippine Defense Secretary
Avelino Cruz, a strong supporter of the Visiting Forces
Agreement. Cruz was sympathetic to U.S. concerns over the
potential politization of the case, but believed that the
case was proceeding reasonably well, in spite of the
emotional climate surrounding it. The Ambassador has also
raised the case with other senior GRP officials, and will
continue to do so. Lawyers for the four Marines believe that
the case is unlikely to conclude within one year, and
discounted the importance of the prosecution’s new
high-profile attorneys. Post is preparing a list of
productive activities to keep the Marines occupied while in
U.S. custody in Manila, while limiting their exposure to
locally employed staff and the public. End Summary.

—————
MISSION SUPPORT
—————

¶2. (C) The Ambassador continues to raise concerns over the
possible politization of the alleged rape case involving U.S.
Marines as she meets with senior GRP officials. In recent
meetings with Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz as well as with
several key senators, the Ambassador has stressed the USG’s
interest in protecting the rights of the Marines as the
judicial process unfolds. She has also underscored the
significant attention this case has garnered in Washington
and the importance of maintaining international judicial
standards. The Ambassador will continue to raise these
points in her meetings with other senior GRP official in the
coming weeks.

¶3. (C) GRP officials have privately expressed their
understanding of U.S. concerns while acknowledging aspects of
the case that continue to prove frustrating, including the
media frenzy at the Marines’ first court appearance and the
addition of three political figures to the prosecution’s
legal team (ref A). Secretary Cruz told the Ambassador on
May 3 that, in spite of the emotional climate surrounding the
case, it was proceeding in a reasonable manner consistent
with both governments’ interest in justice and rule of law.
Senator Richard Gordon echoed these comments in his
discussion with the Ambassador, as did former President Fidel
Ramos in a conversation with the DCM. Justice Secretary Raul
Gonzalez expressed similar sentiments to the Ambassador
recently, and reiterated his position that justice would best
be served if the charges against SSgt Carpentier, LCpl
Duplantis, and LCpl Silkwood were reduced, as DOJ had
recommended to the prosecutors (see para 5).

——————-
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
——————-

¶4. (C) On May 3, III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Staff
Judge Advocate Colonel Peter Collins met with attorneys for
all four Marines. The attorneys opined that the legal
process will be long, and is unlikely to conclude within the
one-year period stipulated by the Visiting Forces Agreement.
When asked about the potential impact on the case of three
high-profile lawyers who have recently joined the private
prosecution team, the defense attorneys suggested that the
development was unimportant and more likely linked to
domestic politics than to the case itself. The Marines’
attorneys also requested U.S. Department of Defense
assistance in evaluating a medical certificate, which is
likely to be used as evidence in the upcoming trial.

¶5. (U) The attorneys for the Marines are awaiting a ruling
by the Court of Appeals regarding a defense motion filed on
May 3 to overturn Judge Benjamin Pozon’s rejection of the
public prosecutor’s motion to downgrade charges against three
of the Marines in accordance with the resolution issued by
Department of Justice (ref A). No date has been set for the
ruling.

¶6. (C) The attorneys for LCpl Daniel Smith, LCpl Domanic
Duplantis, and LCpl Keith Silkwood also stated that they and
their clients had no intention of using local media to
explain their case. Attorneys for SSgt Chad Carpentier,
however, indicated that they are considering a proactive
media strategy.

———-
NEXT STEPS
———-

¶7. (SBU) In an effort to provide the Marines with meaningful
occupation while in USG custody in Manila, Post is currently
developing a list of productive activities that the Marines
are capable of performing and in which they might be engaged
on the Chancery grounds. At least some of these jobs would
utilize the Marines’ specific expertise. We will ensure,
however, that the activities do not expose the Marines
publicly, nor create the impression among any locally
employed staff that the Marines are in a normal work status.

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

   

 

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.