Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/11/05MANILA5300.html

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA5300
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 02 MANILA 005300

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2015
TAGS: PREL MARR ASEC PHUM PGOV PINS KCRM RP
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON ALLEGED RAPE CASE INVOLVING US MARINES

REF: A. MANILA 5231
¶B. MANILA 5138
¶C. COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI 030112Z NOV 05
¶D. OPREP-3/CTF 76.4/022000Z NOV 05 (NOTAL)

Classified By: (U) Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Paul Jones
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (C) SUMMARY. Amid continued heightened press coverage of
the alleged rape case involving six US Marines, Visiting
Forces Agreement Commission (VFACOM) Executive Director
Paredes visited the Embassy November 10 to verify that the
individuals remained in US custody. In a private meeting
with the Charge, Paredes pledged to work closely with US
officials to avoid surprises and promote a fair
investigation. He said he was available for any quiet
consultations that may prove necessary as the case unfolds.
Charge strongly discouraged Paredes from requesting custody
of the Marines; Paredes advised that the government may need
to make that request for political reasons, understanding it
would likely be rejected. We believe that either a
Philippine request for custody, or a US request for
jurisdiction is not/not advisable at this time, since its
likely rejection would inflame public opinion and make
government-to-government cooperation in the case more
difficult. The Philippine Chief State Prosecutor promised on
November 10 to contact the Olongapo prosecutor handling the
case to ensure full cooperation with the ongoing Naval
Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation. END
SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) VFACOM Executive Director Undersecretary Zosimo Jesus
“Jess” Paredes visited the Embassy November 10 to verify that
the six US marines allegedly involved in the rape of a
Filipina (see reftels) remained physically in US custody.
Paredes requested the meeting after unfounded press reports
speculated that the six individuals had left or were seeking
to leave the country.

¶3. (C) In his meeting with the Marines, Paredes said he was
acting as the official representative of President Arroyo
under the direction of Executive Secretary Ermita and Foreign
Secretary Romulo. He stressed that the GRP intended to abide

SIPDIS
strictly with all provisions of the Visiting Forces
Agreement, which recognized that US military authorities
retained immediate custody of US personnel until the
completion of judicial proceedings. Paredes said he was
grateful the Marines had remained in the Philippines, noting
that the case had “a lot of political overtones,” and that
their departure would have “enraged” the Philippine people.
He stressed his commitment to finding the truth, saying he
would not allow any miscarriage of justice. “I want this
case resolved as soon as possible,” Paredes said, observing
that, if it dragged on, it would have a negative impact on
Philippine-American relations.

¶4. (C) In a separate one-on-one meeting with Charge Jones,
Paredes reiterated his pledge to discover the truth and see
justice done. He said he wanted to continue to work closely
with US officials to ensure the six Marines were given a fair
day in court, if charged. Paredes pledged to avoid surprises
and promote a fair investigation. He said he was available
for any quiet consultations that may prove necessary as the
case unfolds. Charge strongly discouraged Paredes from
requesting custody of the Marines; Paredes advised that the
government may need to make that request for political
reasons, understanding it would likely be rejected.

¶5. (C) NCIS continues to pursue an independent investigation
to determine the facts of the case. DOJ Attache approached
Philippine Department of Justice Chief State Prosecutor Zuno
November 10 for assistance in obtaining NCIS access to and
statements from the driver of the vehicle in which the
Marines were riding, the alleged victim, the doctor who
examined her immediately after the alleged rape, evidence
related to the investigation, and other interviews deemed
relevant to the case. Zuno promised to contact the Olongapo
prosecutor handling the case immediately to ensure full
cooperation with the NCIS investigation. (Note: An attorney
has been assigned by the government to assist the alleged
victim. Senator Richard Gordon told A/DCM that he had also
made available an attorney from his previous law firm, at the
request of the alleged victim’s mother. End Note.)

COMMENT
——-

¶6. (C) We strongly believe that a US request for
jurisdiction at this time would be rejected by the Philippine
government, would inflame public opinion, and make
government-to-government cooperation more difficult. GRP
official statements remain strongly supportive of the VFA and
of ongoing US cooperation. The case, however, continues to
draw considerable media attention — much of it highly
distorted and inaccurate. Vice President De Castro,
Opposition Senator Joker Arroyo, and other politicians have
repeatedly made unhelpful comments, underscoring the need for
us to proceed carefully.

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

   

 

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