Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

US serviceman in Subic rape still at Embassy - DILG exec

A Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) executive on Monday said that convicted US Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith is still confined inside the United States embassy.

This came from DILG Undersecretary for Public Safety Marius Corpus.

Corpus said that during recent visit to the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard, Manila, he learned that Smith has been transferred to a 40-footer white van because the building where he was formerly detained is being demolished.

Corpus, chairman of the inspection team tasked to oversee Smith's custody - who did not say when the visit was made - said the van where Smith is being held has an air-conditioning unit with small windows.

"The van is being guarded by two Marine guards and security officers of the US embassy. It is divided into three partitions -- the comfort room at the far end, sleeping quarters in the middle and the visitors area in front," Corpus added.

Corpus said that Smith appeared to have gained weight because of lack of exercise.

The detained American soldier is also regularly visited by a pastor for counseling, the DILG official added.

Earlier, a militant women's group staged a rally in front of the DILG building along EDSA, Quezon City, protesting that Smith has no longer in the custody of the US embassy officials.

The group believed that the American has been flown back to the US.

The case of Smith, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison by the Makati Regional Trial Court for raping a 22-year-old Filipino woman in Subic , Zambales, is still being reviewed by the Court of Appeals, which might decide on the case any time soon. - GMANews.TV

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