CEBU, Philippines -A local official of the General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action or Gabriela yesterday said they are deeply saddened by the decision of the Subic rape victim for recanting her earlier statement against a US Marine officer who allegedly raped her.
But Leny Ocaciones, Gabriela-Cebu chairperson, said they respect and fully understand the decision of “Nicole” to move on with her life and migrate to the United States to seek peace despite an ongoing custody battle of convicted rapist Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith.
Ocaciones said they do not blame Nicole, knowing the fact also that being a rape victim, she had experienced a lot during the duration of the said case and it must have been a very difficult decision for her.
“I only have the Philippine government to be blamed,” Ocaciones said in a telephone interview with The FREEMAN.
Unlike the suspect, Ocaciones explained that Nicole never felt support from the government. Smith is well supported by the US government and has been comfortably detained inside the US Embassy in Manila, she added.
Still, Gabriela is hoping that the case will push through and they will still go on with their fight even if Nicole had already left.
Ocaciones, however, admitted that the recent development might just bring doubts to other women victims of violence to come out in the open.
Gabriela has been supporting Nicole since the beginning and never left her until the end.
Ocaciones said the trials faced by women under the present administration shows that “the President herself is anti-women.” — Johanna T. Natavio/WAB (THE FREEMAN)