Human Rights

‘Rapists’ Walk the Walk of Shame

It took a dastardly crime like the (alleged) rape of a Filipina by four US marines for cops to get friendly with militants.

The Makati City local authorities, including the crowd-control police, were surprisingly lenient with protesters during the arraignment hearing of four US marines charged with allegedly raping a Filipina in Subic last November. Gabriela members were even accosted by police to ideal protest areas in front of the Regional Trial Court grounds. What a relief this was to the activists who at last saw the cops as allies in pressuring the government and the judiciary to give the four Americans their day in court.

Judge Pozon made sure of this, in denying the Department of Justice motion to downgrade charges on three of the four accused. Yesterday, the four were forced to march into, and out of, the courtroom hall in front of the media and a host of jeering protesters. While the Americans were passing by, the local security people cordoning off the path of the accused were gracious enough to even bend down ala otso-otso to allow the protesters to fully unfurl their placards.

It was such a funny scene, worth all the sweat that I gave off while waiting for the Americans to arrive.


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