As predicted, the US intends to fly off its 6 marines who brutally raped a Filipino woman in a van until she was unconscious and then threw her out of the vehicle onto the roadside.
President Arroyo has agreed to a US government proposal to hand over custody of the six rapists to the American military authority in Okinawa, Japan. Outraged by the typically arrogant and sneaky American manoeuvre to shield its military criminals, a Filipino lawyers' group warned Arroyo that permitting that would be against the Philippine Constitution.
The spokesman for the Committee for the Defence of Lawyers (Codal) said:
"President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be committing a culpable violation of the Constitution if she will allow the United States to continue exercising absolute custody over the six American servicemen accused of rape and their transfer to Okinawa, Japan."
Elaborating, Codal said that under the Philippine Constitution, anyone who commits a crime in the Philippines cannot post bail nor be released on recognisance, when they commit a capital offence and when the evidence of guilt is strong. The President of the Philippines is required to defend the constitution. It said that if the Americans are found guilty by a Philippine court, those suspects shall be jailed in a Philippine prison. It added:
"Allowing the accused to remain in US custody whether here or abroad is releasing them on 'recognisance' to the US government, which is clearly not allowed under the Constitution."
A spokeman for the President said that under the Visiting Forces Agreement with the USA, the transfer is legal and obligatory. Malacanang Palace has refused to heed demands that the rape case be brought to a speedy trial, stressing it is for the prosecution (namely the government itself) to decide. But Filipinos have accused their own Department of Foreign Affairs and the US Embassy of colluding to create an escape route for the American rapists.
In Australia sometime ago, the Australian courts agreed to hand over two US service personnel to the US Navy on the American assurance that the US military courts would deal with their charges. The Aussies found out later that the US Navy reneged on that assurance and freed the 2 men without even considering the charges.
The Americans have an utter disrespect for the laws of other nations. It has always acted in a criminal manner in allowing its military personnel charged with crimes on foreign soils to escape without any legal accountability, from the horrendous war crimes like the My Lai massacre to the civil crime of manslaughter in causing the death of a dozen skiers at an Italian winter resort, or rapes in the Philippines, Korea and Okinawa, and drug & prostitution deals in South America and the Balkans. God knows what else they did in Thailand, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and any unfortunate country their military personnel have plagued?