The woman at the center of a controversy between the US and the Philippines has effectively reversed her statements regarding her rape by a US serviceman in 2005, saying she is now unsure whether she was raped.
In a five-page affidavit submitted Tuesday to the Court of Appeals by the lawyer of convicted US Marines Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, Subic rape case victim "Nicole," said she is now conscience-stricken and now doubts if she was really raped on November 1, 2005.
In the affidavit, which Nicole signed on March 12, 2009, she recalled the events of November 1, 2005 when she claimed she was raped in Subic by Smith, who was convicted a year later.
In her new statement, Nicole admitted she had been drinking a lot of alcohol that night and may have lost her inhibitions.
"With the amount of alcoholic mixed drinks I took, my low tolerance level for alcohol and with only a slice of pizza all night, it dawned upon me that I may have possibly lost my inhibitions, became so intimate with Daniel Smith and did more than just dancing and talking with him like everyone else on the dance floor," Nicole said.
Nicole said she herself poses questions and doubts on the case they built against Smith.
She asked, why would have Smith taken her out of the Neptune Club via the main entrance where a lot of people saw them if he had intended to rape her? And that if she had lost consciousness, as she insisted, why would she recall being kissed and groped by Smith at the back of the van that the American soldiers were using then?
Nicole said her conscience has been nagging her since she was friendly and intimate with Smith that night and they could've have gotten carried away.
"My conscience continues to bother me realizing that I may have in fact been so friendly and intimate with Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club that he was led to believe that I was amenable to having sex or that we simply just got carried away," she said.
'Risk public outrage' for justice
Nicole said she realizes that she will come under criticism for these statements, but she said she can't help but entertain doubts on what really happened.
"I expect many sectors to question my motives in executing this statement more than three years after the incident... thinking over and over again how I may have conducted myself at the Neptune Club, I can't help but entertain doubts on whether the sequence of events in Subic last November of 2005 really occurred the way the court found them to have happened," it read.
Nicole added she would rather face public outrage than do nothing to help the court ensure that justice has been served.
"I would rather risk public outrage than do nothing to help the court in ensuring that justice is served," she added.
The affidavit was submitted to the CA by Smith's lawyer Jose Justiniano, who also said, that they have settled their financial obligations to Nicole, worth P100,000.
All signs point to a deal
A veteran trial lawyer told ABS-CBN News this latest development in the rape case has all the indications that a deal has been reached between Smith and the victim.
The lawyer, who declined to be named, said that the recantation could eventually lead to the dismissal of the case and Smith's acquittal.
He said the ball is now in the hands of the prosecution on whether it will still insist that Nicole was indeed raped. It will then depend on the court to assess the value of Nicole's affidavit and decide whether to dismiss the case. -- report from Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN News