Another Rape of Another Filipina by Another U.S. Soldier!
MIGRANTE-Japan Says NO MORE!
Press Release, February 23, 2008
Filipino groups in Japan strongly condemn the rape of a Filipina by a U.S. Army serviceman in Okinawa, Japan. The alleged rape, according to an earlier report, happened on February 18, 2008 in a hotel in Okinawa.
The U.S. military command in Okinawa through Colonel Eric Schnaible said they “take the allegation very seriously”, but no formal investigation has been made so far. More…In a statement issued by Migrante-Japan, an alliance of Filipino migrant organizations, it said that Filipinos are outraged by “another rape of another Filipina by another U.S. soldier”.
Migrante-Japan spokesperson, Rosanna Tapiru recalled the case of “Nicole”, then a 22 year-old Filipina, who was raped by four U.S. marines in November 2005 in Subic. Lt. Daniel Smith, the lone convicted rapist of “Nicole” was supposed to serve time in Philippine jail when “snatched by the U.S. government through the aid of the Macapagal-Arroyo government”, Tapiru said. Lt. Smith now remains under the protective custody of the United States embassy in Manila.
“We do not want another “Nicole”! We do not want the Filipina rape victim in Okinawa to suffer more than she already did only to be betrayed in the end by her supposed guardians in government”, Tapiru added.
MIGRANTE-Japan fears that while keeping the identity of the alleged assailant from the public, the U.S. military command in Okinawa is probably cooking up plans for a possible cover up.
Tapiru says that as a woman, she feels for the victim. She tells the victim to be strong, to pursue the case to the hilt, and never to back down even in the face of intimidation and harassment which she fears will come as the case progresses.
The unparalleled corruption by the Macapagal-Arroyo government is “depleting the already diminishing resources of the country, disabling the economy to produce jobs for the people, and causing widespread poverty affecting millions of families in the Philippines”, Tapiru laments. She says this is the reason why more than 3,000 Filipinos leave the country every day to try their luck overseas. However, once abroad, “Filipinos are turned into virtual milking cows squeezing out precious dollars from their tiny, little pockets, but always neglected and betrayed in times of their needs”, Tapiru further laments.
MIGRANTE-Japan appeals to the Japanese people, particularly those in Okinawa, to rally behind the Filipina rape victim and other recent victims of crimes committed by abusive U.S. soldiers stationed in Japan. It also called on the Macapagal-Arroyo government to intervene and provide the victim with all possible legal, consular and other material support.
“Rape and other crimes do happen in and around U.S. military bases and facilities around the world. But this particular case along with other most recent cases of rape and assault on innocent civilians in Japan will surely hurt efforts by the Fukuda government to convince the Japanese people to allow the continued hosting of U.S. bases and other installations by Japan.” Tapiru said.
MIGRANTE-Japan vows to hold protest actions in front of the U.S. embassy in Tokyo to demand justice for the Filipina rape victim in Okinawa, and calls for unity to dismantle all U.S. military bases in Japan and elsewhere as these are the “symbols of U.S. hegemony in the region and an attack against the sovereignty of host nations”. ###
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