Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Subic rape complainant not backing out--lawyer

One of the lawyers for a 22-year-old Filipina who accused six US marines of rape said Friday her client is not changing her testimony.

Maria Sheila Bazar told ANC that she has no knowledge of any plan for the rape complainant to withdraw or recant the rape charges she filed against the servicemen.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago revealed that the complainant is planning to change her testimony from having been raped to only having been molested.

Santiago said she got the information after a closed door meeting with Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo over the Visiting Forces Agreement issues.

When asked if statements about the recantation of the complainant are purely speculation, Bazar said: "Yes, very much. Because a second statement does not exist. There is one statement, there is one sworn complaint-affidavit right now, and that's what stands. There was no recantation and there is no other affidavit that this particular complainant executed such that a charge for perjury may prosper."

Gonzalez, in a separate interview with ANC, said he cannot confirm the rumor out in the clear yet as there is no word from the complainant herself.

He said the alleged victim, together with a lawyer he identified only as Ambrosio, came to his office on Wednesday. They however failed to meet.

Gonzalez said the complainant, through her lawyer, is asking for a submission of a supplemental affidavit.

"Well they were the ones who asked for the submission of a supplemental. The request to submit a supplemental came from the lawyers of the supposed victim. That is their latest maneuver here. In other words they are in effect amending what was stated in the original complaint," he said.

He added he does not know the content of the supposed supplemental affidavit.

When asked by ANC if she knew about why the complainant was at Gonzalez's office this week, Bazar declined to comment.

"No, I am not at liberty to comment on that particular issue. This is something between the complainant and her lawyers and like I said earlier, should the trial court require us to reveal the circumstances surrounding this, that will be the time but not right now," she said.

As of now, she said, there is no plan of amending the charges against the six US marines.

"There has been no resolution yet by the prosecutor (on changing the charges). And that is the only time really when a consideration of what charge to file is made. And so it is pretty much premature right now especially considering the respondents have not filed their counter-affidavit in response to the complaint-affidavit filed by the complainant," she said.

Gonzalez said that if the complainant would decide to amend her complaint from charging the suspect with rape to just merely molestation, it would weaken the case.

"It would definitely weaken the case because a simple case of molestation will definitely not be rape, although it is a more serious case than an ordinary act of lasciviousness," he said.

He added: "The problem is, what really is your evidence without the complainant? This is the quandary of the prosecution at this point: how to proceed with the case where the complainant herself has changed the nature of her complaint. It would appear as if she was not telling the truth right from the beginning and that would definitely weaken the case."

Gonzalez said the complainant's desire to submit a supplementary affidavit was the same reason why the period of filing a counter-affidavit for the suspects was extended until November 29.

"Well there will be another hearing on the 29th. By that time I think the Americans would have filed their counter-affidavit because they were supposed to file them last Wednesday but because of the supposed supplemental affidavit of the complainant then they were entitled to another 10 days," he said.

He said that the Department of Justice only gave the accused until November 29 to submit their answer to the charges.

Gonzalez said that the complainant should appear in the hearing on the 29th because she has to swear on her supplemental affidavit, if she ever submits one.

Bazar meanwhile said her client cannot be compelled to appear.

"There is nothing in the rules that require her to appear because she already has executed her sworn statement and everything has been submitted to the prosecutor in relation to her complaint," she said. (ABS-CBN NEWS)


Post a Comment

<< Home


This is a joint private blog of volunteers from Subic Bay. It is being maintained primarily to collate articles that may be of importance to decision making related to the future of Subic Bay and as a source of reference material to construct the history of Subic Bay.

The articles herein posted remains the sole property of original authors and publications which has full credits to the articles.

Disclaimer: Readers should conduct their own research and due diligence before using any article herein posted for whatever intended purpose it may be. This private web log will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained from volunteers of this private blog.

www.subicbay.ph, http://olongapo-subic.com, http://sangunian.com, http://olongapo-ph.com, http://oictv.com, http://brgy-ph.com, http://subicbay-news.com, http://batanggapo.com 16 January 2012