It’s a complicated case of “he said/she said”, with overtones of politics: The Subic rape case here in the Philippines.

It started with a night on the town  by some visiting US Marines in 2005. They visited a bar, met some nice girls, and one of the girls, who was a bit intoxicated, took up an offer for a ride. What happened then is a bit fuzzy.

Apparently, when “Nicole”, the pseudonym for the woman involved, sobered up, she found she had been “raped”. The original story was inflammatory: she was gang raped by all the Marines. The story was used by the left as a reason to terminate the “Visiting Armed Forces agreement” with the US, where US troops spend time training here in the Philippines.

But when the DNA test came back, her story changed. Only one man’s DNA was found, that of Corporal Smith, verifying his claim that she had sex only with him. He claimed she had consented, and implied what every Philippino knows– that bar girls often double as prostitutes, making his story believable.

That implication had local feminist seething, who responded that not every Pinay was a prostitute.

No, but if the Pinay is in a Subic bar picking up strange men, chances are she isn’t  a candidate for a nunnery.

On the other hand, if we jailed every man who had intercourse with an intoxicated woman he met in a bar–especially in places like Subic– we’d have to build a lot more jails.

But then local politics complicated the case.

Local feminists were outraged. They saw the case as a test case to protect women against sexual violence.

The anti US groups quickly started demonstrating to use the case to end the joint US/Armed Forces of the Philippines training sessions.

And the left used it to show that evil rich people abuse poor people all the time, so why should a rich American get away with abusing this poor girl?

So the “Subic Rape case”, which would never have been prosecuted in the past, was blown up from a simple case of “date rape” into a case of full rape, convicting Smith and giving him twenty years in jail.

Since then, Smith has spent most of his time in the US Embassy in Manila, while awaiting review of his case.

Fast forward three years.

A couple days ago, President Obama finally got around to calling President Arroyo. Presumably one of the topics was the visiting Armed Forces agreement between the two countries.

Now today, we hear that “Nicole” has fired her lawyer, and moved to the US.  And on March 12, “Nicole” released an affadavit essentially changing her story again, making the case for rape doubtful.

And the Philippine Inquirer reports that  Smith has given “Nicole” P100,000 in compensation (about $20,000US).

So the end result is that “Nicole” has left the Philippines, to start a new life elsewhere. Some reports is that she has gotten a US visa and plans to live there, but that story is not confirmed.

So now it is merely a question of having the courts review the case with the “new” evidence, and let Smith go free, perhaps to face US military justice.

The US Embassy will have to have extra guards for a few weeks to protect themselves from protesters.

In the meanwhile, one can only hope that Nicole will be able to build a new life in the US.

She has been “raped” three times: by Smith, by the Justice system, and of course by all the activists who used her for their own political agendas.

The feminists and anti Americans are disappointed in all of this, but for the two young people involved, this is probably the best resolution for all.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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