Saturday, April 22, 2006

Gabriela calls for Gonzalez’s resignation

A women’s group on Thursday called for the resignation of Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez for doing nothing to defend the rights of the victim in the Subic rape case and for showing his bias for the accused American marines.

Lana Linaban, deputy secretary-general of Gabriela, said that Gonzalez has no moral ground to say that Olongapo City Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni is free to resign from the panel investigating the Subic rape case.

On Wednesday Jalandoni resigned from the special DOJ panel assigned to prosecute the Marines, evidently as a reaction to Gonzalez’s downgrading of the charges against three of the four Americans.

Gonzalez has announced that only US Marine Daniel Smith would be charged with rape while Keith Silkwood, Dominic Duplantis and Chad Carpentier would be charged as accessories.

Gabriela is set to protest at the Makati Regional Trial Court Friday during the hearing of the motion to issue a warrant for the arrest of the four suspects and the motion to declare Article 5, Paragraph 6 of the Visiting Forces Agreement unconstitutional.

Gabriela also assailed Gonzalez’s statement that the three US Marines who allegedly cheered when the Filipino woman was being raped inside a van do not make them co-conspirators in the crime.

"This is a downright insult to the justice system. It’s a shame that the head of the DOJ does not even understand the antirape law and is ignorant of dealing with sensitive cases such as rape," Linaban said. abs-cbn

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