Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/11/05MANILA5459.html

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA5459
2005-11-03 01:12
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 005459

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, AND L/EAP
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP FOR ALLEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR ASEC PHUM PGOV KCRM CASC RP
SUBJECT: UNEVENTFUL PRELIMINARY HEARING IN SUBIC RAPE CASE

REF: A. STATE 212917
¶B. MANILA 5371
¶C. MANILA 5348
¶D. MANILA 5317
¶E. MANILA 5300
¶F. MANILA 5231
¶G. MANILA 5138
¶H. COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI 030112Z NOV 05
¶I. OPREP-3/CTF 76.4/022000Z NOV 05 (NOTAL)

¶1. (SBU) This is an action request by OOB November 25 — see
para 8.

¶2. (SBU) Summary. The preliminary hearing in the case of
six Marines allegedly involved in the rape of a 22-year old
Filipina at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) began
November 23 at the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s office. None
of the Marines was required to be physically present, but one
attended but did not appear before the prosecutor. The
victim also did not attend, but her attorney’s motion to file
a supplemental affidavit by a material witness prompted the
prosecutor to delay submission of the Marines’
counter-affidavits until November 29, the next hearing date.
The scene outside the hearing was largely uneventful, with
Olongapo and Philippine National Police (PNP) out in force to
control any demonstrations. Separately, Department of
Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary for American
Affairs Abadilla suggested to CDA November 23 that, while he
understood US concerns outlined in ref a diplomatic note, it
might prove more beneficial if the Marines could provide
copies of their identification, so as not to give the lawyer
for the complainant the pretext to claim that the USG was not
cooperating in the case. End Summary.

¶3. (U) The preliminary hearing on the alleged rape of a
22-year old Filipina by six Marines took place at the
Olongapo City Prosecutor’s office on November 23. The next
hearing date is scheduled for November 29. The complainant
did not attend. The prosecutor did not require the presence
of the six Marines at the hearing, but LCPL Albert
Lara, on the advice of his attorney, was present but did not
appear before the prosecutor. ACS Chief and USMC attorney
observed the hearing, as did representatives of the
Philippine Visiting Forces Agreement Commission.

¶4. (U) The complainant’s attorney’s motion to file a
supplemental affidavit by a material witness prompted the
prosecutor to delay submission of the Marines’
counter-affidavits until November 29. The prosecutor also
took under consideration a motion by the respondents to
confront witnesses in the case. The respondents’ attorneys
asked for and were provided a transcript of the November 12
radio interview by Vice President Noli De Castro of the
driver of the Marines’ vehicle, in which the driver claimed
his initial statement had been coerced by SBMA security
officers.

¶5. (U) The largely uneventful hearing was covered by a
packed crowd of an estimated 60 foreign and local
journalists, and was carried live on the domestic all-news
channel ANC. The leftist women’s organization Gabriella
conducted a peaceful demonstration outside the Prosecutor’s
office, near a small, pro-American counter-demonstration.
Approximately 300 Olongapo City police with reinforcements
from PNP Region III were on hand to ensure order.

¶6. (U) In a statement to the press following the hearing,
Embassy spokesman stressed that, while physically not all
present in the court room, the six Marines remained in the
Philippines in the custody of the US. He stated that the USG
continued to abide by the precepts of the Visiting Forces
Agreement (VFA) to ensure the case was handled fairly and
justice done. Given the principle under both the Philippine
and US justice systems that an accused was innocent until
proven guilty, the USG hoped for a fair and impartial process
in this case.

¶7. (SBU) Separately, CDA delivered ref a oral points and
provided a copy of ref a diplomatic note on November 23 to
DFA Assistant Secretary of American Affairs Abadilla.
Abadilla requested that the USG reconsider its position on
the military identifications, so as not to give the
complainant’s lawyers the pretext to claim that the USG was
not cooperating in the case.

¶8. (SBU) Comment and Action request: Given the improved
atmosphere of cooperation in the case, Embassy recommends
complying with the DFA informal request for the reason A/S
Abadila outlined, unless there are strong legal grounds not
to do so. We might rely on Article 3 of the VFA, which
requires US servicemen produce identification to Philippine
authorities on entry and exit. Please advise by OOB Manila
time November 25.

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

   

 

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