Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, October 13, 2006

Group starts signature drive online for ‘Nicole’

SAN FERNANDO CITY -- Women activists assisting Nicole, the Filipina who charged four United States Marines with rape, have posted a petition on the Internet in a bid to rally more support for her.

The petition, titled “Justice for Nicole, Justice for Our Nation,” began Friday and had gathered about 500 signatures as of Wednesday, according to Corazon Requiso, coordinator of the Task Force Subic Rape (TFSR) that launched the online campaign using the iPetitions as platform.

Requiso said the TFSR has tapped the Internet to broaden the reach of the signature campaign, and hopefully reach the international community.

Since helping Nicole in December 2005, the TFSR has maintained a website devoted for updates on the case. That site carries background, including the transcripts of the Visiting Forces Agreement and the anti-rape law.

The petition called for support for Nicole, “who, as rape survivor, is fighting not only for herself but for the dignity of all Filipinos, and for the sake of Filipino women and men who are at risk from various types of abuse that may arise from the VFA.”
The early signatories include American, Japanese and mostly Filipinos. In the box assigned for comments, some have written messages urging Nicole, 23, to remain courageous, Requiso said in a phone interview.

Several members of the TFSR, like Requiso, provided security to Nicole during court hearings. In the earlier days of the campaign, some served as dummies for Nicole to escape being hounded by the media.

The TFSR, a coalition of 17 organizations, said the rape, which allegedly took place in a moving van at the Subic Bay Freeport on Nov. 1, 2005, was a “landmark case.”

“[It is] the first that has come to trial in our country against US servicemen, for its importance in challenging the implementation of the anti-rape law in the furtherance of women’s rights,” part of the petition read on ww.ipetitions.com/petition/justicefornicole.

In it, the TFSR also expressed frustration over the “lack of sensitivity and resoluteness” of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez in defending Nicole, a native of Zamboanga City who was vacationing in Subic when she was allegedly raped.

According to the TFSR, Gonzalez has “consistently made statements inimical to the case.”

These statements, it said, pertained to his “refusal to issue a warrant of arrest, [plan to] downgrade the case of three US Marines, insinuat[ion] that Nicole could be merely imagining the prosecutors’ ‘incompetence’ just as she may have imagined being raped, and his stubborn refusal to change the prosecutors in spite of the unethical and unprofessional conduct of the senior prosecutor.” Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon


  • To those that sign.
    I hope they do not want a visa in the future.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/14/2006 5:30 PM  

  • Very true, I joined the movement to oust the US NAVAL BASE in the late 80's since I believed the they are just using us and not really giving the Filipino people our fair share, our American Boss warned those who joined about this blacklisting in the US EMBASSY Data Base, and it really happened, all of us who actively supported the bases pull-out were never granted a visa . . . so watch out . . . American Government is the most revengefull authocratic government in the history of mankind

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/15/2006 11:03 AM  

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