Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, October 10, 2006



CLARK FIELD, PAMPANGA, By Ding Cervantes - A spokesman for the US military said yesterday their troops "will not allow" the Subic rape case to affect their operations in the conduct of the forthcoming "Talon Vision" joint military exercises.

Noting that five American servicemen have been accused of raping a Filipino woman last November, US military spokesman Capt. Burrel Parmer said the troops are still looking forward to participate in the forthcoming Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (Philblex) and take the opportunity to help the needy.

Parmer said the rape case that implicated the four American servicemen at Subic was "not related to the military exercises" and "was an isolated incident."

He said the US military officials have not changed policies on recreation for some 5,700 American personnel who will be joining the forthcoming exercises.

"Their commanders have the discretion to allow their men to have limited recreational opportunities," he said.

"We (the US and the Philippines) are enjoying a very, very long and strong relationship for the past 50 years and we want to enhance this," Parmer stressed.

Some 5,700 US servicemen will join 13,000 Filipino troops this month in Talon Vision, which will include live-fire exercises, amphibious landings and ship interdictions.

Unlike recent training in Mindanao, the new joint exercises will not be aimed primarily at battling terrorism but focus on routine drills to enhance both forces’ capabilities to operate together, according to Parmer.

The ground, air and sea maneuvers will be held from Oct. 16 to 31 at Clark Field, in Tarlac, Crow Valley in Tarlac, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija and Ternate, Cavite.

"A large contingent of US servicemen will come to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija to conduct exercise with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and Philippine Marines, so everyone involved in this period is crucial to the security as crucial to a fight on worldwide terrorism, and the capabilities to protect each other’s nation," Parmer said. — With Ric Sapnu

GI: I’d rather clear my name than settle By Michael Punongbayan The Philippine Star 10/05/2006

American Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, the principal accused in the rape of a Filipino woman in Subic last year, declared he would rather have his name cleared of the charges than agree to a settlement of the case.

"If there was an attempt to settle, I don’t want to get into that kind of technicality. I want my name to be cleared. I’m being accused of what I feel is the worst thing anybody can be accused of," Smith said in an interview with GMA 7’s "24 Oras" newscast last night.

Smith, one of the four American soldiers accused in the rape case, made it plain during the interview that he would never agree to a settlement with "Nicole," as the victim is publicly known, in exchange for dropping the case.

Smith made the declaration as the mother of Nicole turned over a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) detailing how the government prosecutors in the case tried to work out a settlement with the accused Americans.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez ordered a further investigation into the allegations made by Nicole’s mother.

In a two-page sworn statement, the victim’s mother claimed Senior State Prosecutor Emilie Fe de los Santos had promised Nicole a new life in America as part of an out-of-court amicable settlement.

The victim’s mother claimed De los Santos invited them to a meeting in a coffee shop in Makati City last July 17 to discuss the proposed settlement with the accused US Marines.

In that meeting, Nicole’s mother claimed De los Santos told her that the family of the four US Marines wanted to settle the case with them. — With Jose Rodel Clapano


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