“Nicole,” the victim in the Subic rape case, has left for the United States, for good.
This is according to a statement by her lawyer Evalyn G. Ursua, who received the news from Nicole’s mother.
Ursua added that Nicole’s mother gave her a letter Monday afternoon at about 5:30, stating Nicole’s “‘notice of termination of [my] services as [her] counsel in the criminal case” against Daniel Smith and all ‘other cases arising from or related’ to it, ‘which are pending before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.’”
Atty. Ursua also mentioned that she asked Nicole’s mother for an explanation for the termination of her counsel services.
“Nicole and her family are tired of the case and they do not want anymore to be bothered by it because ‘there is no justice in the Philippines,’” Ursua’s statement read.
The letter also said thank you to Ursua “for all the time and effort that you have devoted in the prosecution of the case.”
Ursua noted in her statement that there is no way for her to confirm with Nicole the details of the letter. She then presumed that the letter correctly states Nicole’s decision.
“I will therefore respect it,” she added.
In addition, Ursua said the letter noted that copies of it were or will be furnished to the Office of the Solicitor General and Smith's lawyer, Atty. Jose Justiniano.
“There is going suspicion that maybe Nicole was pressured and we understand her situation right now,” said Rep. Liza Maza of women’s party list Gabriela in a telephone interview on ANC’s Dateline Philippines.
“We were surprised by the turn of events,” added Maza.
She also said that the termination of Ursua’s services is immaterial to the case because there is already a conviction against Smith.
“It’s really kinda strange,” remarked Maza, pertaining to the fact that Nicole’s mother sent the letter to Justiniano before sending it to Ursua.
Meanwhile, Maza said the demoralization of Nicole and her family, which led them to give up on the case, was caused by two things.
“The framework of this whole case is unequal, the Visiting Forces Agreement itself,” she said, adding that “Malacañang is not really serious in really pushing for our sovereignty and even the sovereign decision of our Philippine courts on this issue.”
She also noted that “This issue is beyond Nicole. This is an issue of a woman who has been violated there was a crime committed. And the perpetrator of such crime should be punished.”
Maza added, “Nasa burden talaga ng Malacañang, ng ating pong gobyerno para i- assert itong ating posisyon kaugnay ng kaso ni Nicole at kaugnay ng Visiting Forces Agreement.”
"Nicole is one of a string of cases dating back during the time when the bases are here,” concluded Maza.