28 February 2009
Reference: Joms Salvador, Spokesperson, 371-2302 / 09189182150
GABRIELA CONDEMNS DISMISSAL OF COURT MARSHALL RAPE CASE VS US SOLDIER IN OKINAWA, GEARS FOR PROTEST AT US EMBASSY
"We are enraged at the US government for dismissing the rape charges against Army Spec. Ronald Hopstock for the rape of `Hazel'. This only
affirms that the United States is a government that coddles its rapist
soldiers." This was the statement today of the militant women's group
On February 24, US Army Judge Colonel Donna Wright dismissed for "lack of sufficient evidence" the rape charges against Hopstock , who was accused of raping "Hazel," a 22-year old Filipina migrant worker raped three days after arriving in Okinawa, Japan in February of last year.
"The decision on Hazel's case only shows how there can be no justice
for Filipinos violated by the armed troops of the US government. No
justice was ever served to thousands of Filipinos victimized by the
criminal acts of US soldiers during the bases era; There is no justice
even now, as with the case of rapist L/Cpl. Daniel Smith, whom the US
government continues to take under custody with the full backing of
the Philippine Executive," Salvador said.
"Any self-respecting government would, at this point, be affronted by
the US government's impertinence. But the Arroyo government, lacking in respect for our country's sovereignty as it is, does not even want to fight back and reclaim our nation's dignity," said Salvador.
Salvador stressed that this development should compel the Philippine
Senate to hasten its action in passing a resolution for the abrogation
of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
The women's group said that they will hold a protest action in front
of the US Embassy on Monday, March 2. On March 8 International Women's Day, the group said that 10,000 protesters are expected to join the women's mobilization calling for the scrapping of the VFA. ###