PRESSURE TO SCRAP THE VFA INCREASES
23 April 2009 5:30pm, Manila time
American Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith has just been acquitted by the Court of Appeals. The decision was promulgated by the CA's 11th Division with the ponencia rendered by Associate Justice Monina Arevalo-Zenarosa and concurred in by Associate Justices Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal (did you notice that all of there lady associate justices have hyphens between their surnames?)
The Court of Appeals decision overturns the guilty verdict on Smith handed down on December 4, 2006 by Judge Benjamin Pozon of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 139.
This development comes amidst calls for the Supreme Court to look into the submission by Smith's counsel to the Court of Appeals of "Nicole's" retraction affidavit and the leakage of the CA ruling.
The following video is an interview by Igan Arnold Clavio with Atty. Evalyn Ursua, former lawyer of "Nicole," aired at Unang Balita over GMA-7 on March 25, 2009:
For a quick refresher on the Daniel Smith-"Nicole" rape case, here's an excellent timeline courtesy of gmanews.tv.
The way I see it, this acquittal will increase pressure on our lawmakers to revoke the VFA. If "Nicole" does not "retract" her "retraction," scrapping the VFA appears to be the only way of redeeming Filipino honor.