WTF?! Nicole has left this country and will stay in the US “for good“. Not poetic justice but some sick twist of irony. So much for the symbol of US military oppression and abuse, so much for the revival of the patriotic movement to junk the Visiting Forces Agreement and exact justice not just for the Filipina but also for the motherland.
One cannot help but get suspicions that the governments both our own and the United States’ have had a hand in this. Not so long ago, at the height of her legal battle against her rapist US Marine Daniel Smith, she and her family stood up against the portion of the public that opined that she would either succumb to lure of a bountiful settlement or give up on the country’s legendary justice system – or both.
She won, the US Marine was convicted but justice fell short when he remained in the custody of the United States through his stay at the US Embassy. Still, the struggle continued, gained momentum and even support from some senators (be it for their own election-related interests or not) and is about to blossom until this. She and her family has become:
tired of the case and do not want anymore to be bothered by it because ‘there is no justice in the Philippines.'”
It’s not only her lawyer that has been left hanging in the air, but also the national movement that has picked up her cause and is now ready to mount a struggle to the end.
Should this setback, a slap on the face, be enough to give up all together?
I believe it should not. There’s a grain of bitter truth on The Warrior Lawyer’s conclusion;
Every Filipina has a price. And that price is, sadly, a one-way ticket to the U.S.
However, Nicole’s lawyer, Evelyn Ursua has perfectly said the otherwise;
“While I have ceased to be Nicole’s lawyer, I, as a citizen who loves this country, remain committed to the cause of obtaining justice in Nicole’s case and putting an end to the iniquitous Visiting Forces Agreement,”
“The ‘Nicole’ that and the other lawyers represented was beyond the woman that Nicole and her family thought she was. ‘Nicole’ is every Filipino woman who was and will be raped by American soldiers. ‘Nicole’ can happen again. And so the fight against the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the presence of US troops in the country must continue,”
When Jose Rizal refused to give his blessings to the Revolution and chose to stay in exile in Dapitan, Bonifacio and the Katipunan pushed on with it regardless. Though there were many setbacks, long battles and even the betrayal of their comrades, the Revolution succeeded in gaining our independence from Spain.
This in turn was cut short by the arrival of the Americans and we have never fully recovered from then on, a hundred years later we’re still recovering from chains and strings of Uncle Sam. Perhaps this time around, despite the spoiling departure of Nicole (some would construe as betrayal, but I wouldn’t go there), we’d finish what our forefathers have started.