Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

‘No specific restrictions on GIs’ R&R’ -- US officer

By Joel Guinto -- INQ7.net

THERE will be no specific restrictions on rest and recreation for visiting American troops, notwithstanding the shadow cast by the Subic rape case, a US officer said as joint exercises between Filipino and American troops began Monday.

"It now depends on the ground commanders whether to enforce restrictions on their men," Colonel Chester Jolley, exercise director for the American contingent, told a news conference at the Philippine Marines headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

Jolley said there would be no curfew for the US troops, who will be kept busy with the Talon Vision and Philippine Bilateral Exercises (Phiblex) to be staged at Clark Field in Angeles City, Pampanga province, the Marine Base in Ternate town, Cavite; Subic Bay in Olongapo City, Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija, and in Palawan province.

"I for one, as a pilot, I need at least several hours of sleep before flying," said Jolley, the concurrent chief of staff of the 3rd US Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Four US Marines were charged and tried for the alleged rape of a now 23-year old Filipina in the Subic Bay Freeport late November last year.

A Makati City court has tentatively set November 27 to release the verdict on the case.

The complainant, known publicly by the pseudonym "Nicole," claimed she was raped by Lance Corporal Daniel Smith inside a van while Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier, and Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominique Duplantis cheered him on.

Also present during the formal opening of the exercises in Fort Bonifacio were Marine commandant Major General Nelson Allaga; and his US counterpart, Brigadier General Joseph Medina, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

At least 5,000 US servicemen from bases in Japan and 1,300 local Marine, Army and Air Force troops are participating in the joint exercises.


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