Statement and urgent call to action: Justice for Nicole!

Contact: Valerie Francisco
BAYAN-USA
valeriefrancisco@yahoo.com

One year after the alleged rape of “Nicole” by four United States (US) servicemen, the Subic Rape Case still awaits a verdict. Nicole—a court appointed pseudonym—and her family have been through four painstaking months of hearings, doctored evidence, and contradictory testimonies. The trial has transformed into a dubious and untrustworthy situation because of underhanded alliances between governmental parties, and both, defense and prosecution parties. Simply, Nicole’s rape has yet to see justice.

Currently, the presence of US troops in the Philippines under the Visitors Forces Agreement (VFA) authorizes US military involvement in training and war exercises. It is in these “temporary periods” that an increase of prostitution of women and children living in and around US military bases. VFA, an agreement complicit with US military interests, protects US servicemen from particular crimes they commit in the Philippines. Simultaneously, the VFA and US military occupation in the Philippines endanger Filipino women and children in regards to sexualized crimes (i.e. rape, prostitution).

Nicole’s rape is a landmark case. It is the first sexualized crime committed by US military servicemen against a Filipina victim to be considered under legal constructs. Nicole represents all Filipino women and children, historically and currently, victimized by the US military presence in the Philippines. To add, the struggle for justice for many Nicoles—any victims of US military sexual violence and discrimination across the globe—Is represented by this case.

We understand the connection between the sexual crimes as a result of militarization in the Philippines and the sexual crimes as a result of militarization in other occupied lands and countries. We connect Nicole’s case to the unequal gender relations that engender violence and inequality for women here in the US. We understand the connection between these crimes of militarization in the Philippines and the increasing rate of human and sex trafficking of Filipino women in New York City. We must then question the inherent flaws in a capitalist and imperialist system that continuously victimizes women and allows for these conditions.

We ask you to join us at this critical time to stand in solidarity with us. We are working to unite our allies to show solidarity with the upcoming verdict of the Nicole rape case. The mounting united international pressure on the Philippine government and courts is felt in the Philippines. We will no longer wait for justice, rather, we will act upon it. BAYAN-USA is convening at 5:30pm in front of the military recruitment office at Times Square (US Army Recruiting Station Times Square, 714 7th Avenue New York City, NY ). A program with speakers and more information about this issue will be available. This action is coordinated with Filipino women nationally and internationally speaking out against the injustice against Nicole and other women victimized by US militarization around the world.

Justice for Nicole!
Junk the Visiting Forces Agreement!
End violence against women!
Stop U.S. military aid to the Philippines!