STATEMENT: Alternative Law Group on "Nicole's" affidavit

The ALG has always pointed out the difficulties that are experienced by women victims of violence and members of marginalized groups in sustaining the prosecution or litigation of a case in court, caused, among others, by the lack of support systems for victims and complainants.  This was reiterated in last year’s Forum on Increasing Access to Justice that was organized by the Supreme Court.  In the Subic rape case, this problem took on a new and uglier twist as the government itself took the side of the accused, despite his conviction, and willingly, and even surreptitiously, relinquished custody over the convicted person to the United States authorities.   With the trial court’s conviction of the accused, the successful prosecution of the Subic rape case was hailed as a triumph of our justice system.   Subsequent developments would prove the reality that, in many cases, women victims of violence, and members of marginalized sectors, suffer further victimization as they seek remedy from the justice system.  

In the face of these setbacks, our resolve is only strengthened to continue our advocacy for reforms in the country’s justice system.  We shall sustain our work for holistic, participatory, and gender responsive reforms that are based on a larger effort to address the bigger and fundamental justice issues in society.  We call on all stakeholders of the justice system, both within and outside the government, to remain vigilant in using the law and the legal system for the protection of the rights of women, and the poor and marginalized sectors.    We urge our courts and the officers of the executive agencies to take into consideration the social context of Nicole’s alleged voluntary execution of her latest sworn statement, to investigate the irregularities surrounding its preparation, and to impose stern penalties on the officers of the court who assisted in drafting the affidavit.   The biggest injustice that can be committed against Nicole is the use of said affidavit to thwart the just resolution that she rightfully deserves.   

[1] The ALG is a coalition of twenty (20) legal-resource non-government organizations that work for justice system reforms and the empowerment of the poor and marginalized sectors in the country.   ALG members:  Albert Schweitzer Association Philippines, Inc. (ASAP); Alternative Law Research and Development Center (ALTERLAW); Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC); Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw (BALAOD-Mindanaw) ; Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB); Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC); EnGendeRights, Inc. (ENGENDERIGHTS) ; Free Rehabilitation, Economic, Education and Legal Assistance Volunteers Association, Inc. (FREELAVA); Kaisahan tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Kanayunan at Repormang Pansakahan (KAISAHAN); Kanlungan Center Foundation, Inc. (KANLUNGAN); Legal Right
s and Natural Resources Center, Inc. – Kasama sa Kalikasan – Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC-KSK-FOE) ; Tanggapang Panligal ng Katutubong Pilipino (PANLIPI); Paglilingkod Batas Pangkapatiran Foundation (PBPF); Pilipina Legal Resources Center (PLRC); Participatory Research Organization of Communities and Education Towards Struggle for Self-Reliance- Panay (PROCESS-Panay) ; Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN); Tanggol Kalikasan (TK); Tebtebba  Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education (TEBTEBBA); Women’s Legal Bureau (WLB); Women's Legal Education, Advocacy and Defense Foundation, Inc. (WOMENLEAD)