Monday, March 23, 2009
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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
CITY OF MAKATI
I, SUZETTE S. NICOLAS, of legal age. Filipino, a resident of Zamboanga City, after being duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state:
1. I am a Bachelor of Science graduate, major in Management Accounting, of the Ateneo de Davao University. Soon after my graduation, I took up nursing in 2004 at the Ateneo de Zamboanga City and at the same time assisted in managing our family owned canteen located inside the military base of the Southern Command. My mother was a civilian supervisor of the Philippine Navy for 25 years while my deceased father was a Philippine Navy Officer.
2. Since our canteen also catered to American servicemen who stayed at the military base every time their vessels docked in Zamboanga City, my family came to know many American servicemen who would go to our canteen to eat and buy souvenir items. We treated them as family and we would go out of our way to talk to them, play cards and on many occasions, my mother would even cook special meals for them. They would even entrust their ATM cards to us to withdraw money for them from the bank. My former boyfriend, Brian Goodrich, is also an American serviceman.
3. After working in Swift Foods Inc. since January 22, 2007, I decided to quit my job as a Credit Accountant to pursue my studies in the United States through the help of my family, relatives and close friends. I know that they supported me so that I could finally move on after my tragic experience in 2005 in Subic, Zambales which led to the trial and conviction for rape of Daniel J. Smith.
4. Deep inside, however, I know that I may never be able to move on for as long as I continue to search for answer to so many questions that have lingered in my mind regarding the incident in Subic more than three years ago. Daniel Smith was convicted of rape because the court accepted my version that he took advantage of my intoxication in raping me inside a van that took us to the seawall located at the SBMA Alaba Pier at around 11:30 in the evening of November 1, 2005.
5. Daniel Smith’s witnesses said that while we were at the Neptune Club, I sat on Daniel Smith’s lap and that we kissed each other passionately. I remember that before I met Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club, all I ate was a slice of pizza at the Grand Leisure Hotel. After the pizza, everything else was alcoholic drinks from vodka sprite, B52, Singaporean sling, B53, long island ice tea to bullfrog all of which I drank bottoms up. I do not recall Daniel Smith having ordered any alcoholic drink for me. My drinks were all paid for by Chris Mills who invited me to go to the Neptune Club.
6. I had no opportunity to deny in court that I kissed Daniel Smith but with the amount of alcoholic mixed drinks I took, my low tolerance level of 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. Looking back, I would not have agreed to talk with Daniel Smith and dance with him no less than three times if I did not enjoy his company or was at least attracted to him since I met him for the very first time on the dance floor of Neptune Club.
7. When I danced with Daniel Smith for the third time, my companion, Chris Mills has already left Neptune Club since he had to catch their curfew time at the military base. The lighting was sufficient for people to recognize each other and other marines were with their Filipino partners drinking, dancing and enjoying each other’s company and kissing and hugging among partners was a common scene.
8. With the events at the Neptune Club in mind, I keep on asking myself, if Daniel Smith wanted to rape me, why would he carry me out of the Neptune Club using the main entrance in full view of the security guard and the other sources? Why would the van park right in front of Neptune Club? Why would Daniel Smith and his companions bring me to the seawall of Alaba Pier and casually leave this area that was well lighted and with many people roaming around? If they believed that I was raped, would they have not dumped me instead in a dimly lit area along the highway going to Alaba Pier to avoid detection?
9. I told the court that Daniel Smith kissed my lips and neck and held my breast inside the van. Recalling my testimony, I ask myself now how could I have remembered this if witnesses told the court that I passed out and looked unconscious when I was brought to the van by Daniel Smith. How could I have resisted his advances given this condition? Daniel Smith and I were alone on the third row of the van which had limited space and I do not recall anyone inside the van who held my hand or any part of my body. What I can recall is that there was very loud music and shouting inside the van.
10. If the travel from Neptune Club took only several minutes and with the driver of the van trying to beat the curfew time of his passengers, how could I have instantly regained my consciousness and talked to the people upon reaching the seawall of Alaba Pier? When people gathered around me at the seawall, everyone seemed to have drawn the conclusion that I was raped except for one who called me a bitch.
11. Based on the account of SBMA police, I was very hesitant to board the mobile police car that brought me to the headquarters for investigation. I was so confused and the first thing that entered my mind was how would my mother and boyfriend react if they learn that I was last seen with Daniel Smith and that a condom was seen on my pants after Daniel Smith left the van? I was scared of losing not only my American boyfriend but the chance of living in the United States. In fact, I did not immediately tell my boyfriend that I was raped by Daniel Smith. All I said was that something bad happened to me.
12. I expect many sectors to question my motives in executing this statement more than three years after the incident. However, as I practically grew up interacting with American servicemen in Zamboanga City who treated me and my family very well, and 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.
13. 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. I would rather risk public outrage than do nothing to help the court in ensuring that justice is served.
AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.
SUZETTE S. NICOLAS
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME this 12 day of March 2009, affiant exhibiting to me her Philippine Passport No. PPO845449 bearing her photograph and signature, issued on 18 Feb 2005 at Zamboanga City and valid until 18 Feb. 2010.
Doc. No. 37
Page No. 9
Book No. 1
Series of 2009
ABRAHAM REY M. ACOSTA
Notary Public for Makati City
This post was written by: Jerick Baluyot
Jerick Baluyot is a professional blogger, writer and digital marketing specialist. Follow him on Twitter