Contact: Marisa Mariano
Secretary General, babae San Francisco
babae stands in support of Nicole as she and her family await the verdict against four United States Marines who gang raped her last November 1, 2005 in what is known as the Subic Bay Rape Trial. On this one year anniversary of the incident, babae demands that both the US and Philippine governments seek justice and accountability with a guilty verdict on NOVEMBER 27, 2006.
Needless to say, the case itself—a painstaking four months of hearings—has unfolded into a sloppy and untrustworthy situation. Nicole has since complained about the inadequate cross-examination efforts by the prosecution. She has demanded a new set of lawyers as a result of the prosecution’s decision to not proceed with the necessary rebuttal of case witnesses, a direction they chose to do without consulting Nicole. Nicole’s mom has admitted repeatedly that the lead prosecutor approached her three times to settle the case, offering such settlement provisions as money, open visas to the US for everyone in their family, and permanent residence in the US for Nicole. The 4-month legal scuffle was elevated when Nicole and her mom walked out the courtroom on September 14 to protest the prosecution’s weak efforts, even expressing her fear that she would lose the case due to their incompetence.
babae remains committed to educating our community on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), ratified in 1999, that has allowed American troops to hold joint military exercises with Filipino troops in the Philippines on a temporary basis. It is within these “temporary periods” that an increased number of cases of American soldiers committing sexual assault against women and children in areas near the stationed troops have been reported. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers have not been punished for these human rights violations. babae has joined the ranks of women and human rights groups, in the Philippines and internationally, demanding an end to this horrid situation and justice for all victims of violence. The VFA stipulates that Philippine courts have jurisdiction on crimes committed on local soil and that proceedings should be concluded within one year, otherwise the accused Americans are free to leave the country unpunished. This should not be allowed to happen.
babae also recognizes the link between violence impacting women as a result of militarization and the violence we experience through domestic violence. Both stem from systems that create an unequal power dynamic for women. When we are not afforded a sense of autonomy over our bodies and laws are created to weaken our sense of safety, we must then question the systems that allow for these conditions to happen. Why is it that a partner thinks they can control their partner through violence? Why can four military men rape a woman without consequence? Now is the time to stand in solidarity. Support Nicole and demand for justice in her name as well as the countless other women globally who face violence on a daily basis.
Please join babae on November 27th for an action the day the verdict is given. We’ll be convening in front of the San Francisco Federal Building (450 Golden Gate Ave, cross Street is Polk) at 4:30pm
Justice for Nicole!
Junk the Visiting Forces Agreement!
End all violence against women!
Stop U.S. military aid to the Philippines!