Justice for “Vanessa” and other women victims of abuse by US interventionist soldiers!

By Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in condemning another incident of rape of a Filipina by a US soldier, this time inside a five-star hotel in Makati. "Vanessa," a 22-year old Filipina student was brutalized and raped last April 19 by a US marine.

Vanessa commendably came out yesterday to publicly reveal the violence and violation committed against her. Her revelation further opens the Filipino people's eyes about how Filipino women continue to be victims of abuse by US soldiers stationed in the Philippines.

She recounted that she was in a party with a cousin and another friend when the US soldier, a previous acquaintance, invited her to join him and his friends at his hotel room. Realizing later that she was tricked when she saw no one else present, she insisted on leaving. But the US marine slapped her, overpowered her, held her neck in a stranglehold and raped her.

Vanessa was later able to escape, assisted by her sister and hotel personnel. The next day, she approached the progressive women's rights group Gabriela and Atty. Evalyn Ursua, who helped her gather the necessary evidence, including the rapist's real name, his picture and a police medico-legal report confirming the rape. Gabriela was able to confirm that the accused was listed in the hotel records as being with the "Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG)/Balikatan."

The rape of Vanessa occurred just four days before the Court of Appeal's reversal of a lower court's guilty verdict on US soldier Daniel Smith for raping "Nicole" in Subic Bay Freeport in late 2005. The reversal was a result of insistent US pressure and its local puppets' obsequious maneuvers to secure the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The promulgation of the appeals court's acquittal of Smith last April 23 shattered any remaining hope for her to win legal vindication of her grievance, given the prevailing puppet, mercenary and corrupt judicial system.

All throughout the time the Subic rape case was being tried, the US banked on the inequities of the VFA and ordered Malacañang to prevent Smith from being placed under Philippine penal jurisdiction. They obtained his "legal" acquittal to maintain the "zero" record of US soldiers convicted of any crime in the country.

Indeed, Vanessa has little hope of attaining justice under the Arroyo regime that serves as a servile puppet to the US and its interventionist military. She knows full well that the VFA and all judicial and diplomatic measures will be stacked up against her by the US and Philippine governments, just like what they happened to Nicole.

Vanessa has, on the other hand, won the widespread sympathy and support of the Filipino people. The CPP and all revolutionary forces join the Filipino people's demand and struggle for justice in her case and in like cases of abuse and oppression of Filipino women and of the Filipino people.

All Filipino patriots, democrats, progressives and revolutionaries must vigorously clamor and fight for the abrogation of the VFA, other similarly unequal, unjust and oppressive agreements and the entire range of neocolonial US-Philippine relations. Only by removing these obstacles can justice be attained for Vanessa and other victims of US military presence, domination, injustice and oppression in the country .

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