Saturday, July 8, 2006

Exploiting Nicole

ina Jimenez David displays her radical blend of victimological nationalism and feminism in "We are all Nicole" -- her recent PDI column piece on the Subic Bay Rape case. Now let me be the first to admit it: I don't know what the truth is about what happened between Nicole and those four U.S. Marines last Holloween in Subic. (I guess that is why there is a "trial" going on and Muntinglupa's hidden joys are awaiting the guilty should a proper conviction occur.) But I seriously doubt that Rina and the rest of the Lynch Mob know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the instant case, either. Nor do they care. For they are interested in a different set of truths and consequences. They've jumped in to exploit a tragic situation for ideological and political propaganda purposes having to do with that love-hate relationship between America and the Philippines. But for them this is not really about the alleged rape of Nicole. It's really about the alleged rape of the entire Filipino nation by the United States of America and her rampaging soldiers. The actual guilt or innocence of the accused is no longer important to Rina since it is not what happened last November that she wants to get at, but what happened during the last hundred years. The truth -- whatever it may be -- is now collateral damage in the war of liberation from America.

So it may come as a shock to Nicole that the situation she is in may actually be the fault of President William MacKinley in the 19th Century, according to Rina:
Thanks to the policy of benevolent assimilation, Filipinos of this and previous generations have always related to Americans and the American government in much the same way that Nicole and her family dealt with the American servicemen frequenting their canteen. We assumed they could be trusted. We believed that they had our interests in mind when they asked us to be their allies. And even when we were led into dangerous ventures—such as sending troops to Korea, Vietnam and Iraq—we justified the risk by saying we would at least be amply compensated by our wealthier friends. And when they abused our hospitality—by locking Filipinos out of our own territory, as they did with the bases they maintained; and aiding, abetting and even financing the growth of sex industry centers clustered around the bases—we still looked the other way and said that in the long term, we benefited economically from the bases.
Long after the US bases departed, it seems that Filipinos are doing just fine all by themselves "aiding, abetting and even financing the growth of sex industry." Over 2,000 Filipino-on-Filipina rapes yearly, (over seven a day) , according to NSCB statistics, is nothing to be proud of either. And we know how to lock each other out of our own territories, what with NPA insurgents ruling the countrysides through extortion and revolutionary taxes. (Whom of course Rina never denounces because they are allies in the everlasting united front against the foreigners!) But why Korea, Vietnam and Iraq have anything substantial to do with her troubles, I am sure Nicole will be puzzled about.

I just hope others in the world don't think we are all nutmegs like Rina Jimenez David. It is people like her and the rest of the ravenous media that poor Nicole will remember in the long run as having made her ordeal infinitely worse. She's been raped and used by a Lynch Mob but may not yet know it.

By the way, Rina's title, "We Are All Nicole" reminds me of a very similar situation that arose, not in a rape case but in the movie Geisha by the Chinese movie star, Zhang Ziyi. For playing the role of a Japanese geisha, she was widely pilloried by Chinese "patriotic" writers like one Shi Changqing, who wrote
She is not being screwed by just one Japanese person, for she is being screwed by every Japanese person! She is not the only person to be screwed by the Japanese people, for every Chinese person is being screwed by the Japanese people! She let shame fall on the Chinese people! How could such a person deserve to be a Chinese? (EastWestNorthSouth: Zhang Ziyi's Butt)
I guess Rina matches this with her conclusion, which I think is not properly argued and doesn't belong in the broadsheet's Op/Ed--
But even that resounding victory for the nationalist cause would ultimately be eroded by the VFA and the continuing presence of the American military on our soil. Which just goes to show that when Americans want to f—k with you, they’ll f—k you any which way.
The newspaper daily publishes a Code of Ethics and even has Reader's Ombudsman who never enforces it--only defends and makes excuses for their daily mental rape of the Filipinos' intelligence, especially when it comes to Leftist causes. Some people like Rina try mighty hard to make it seem like there had been a Rape of Nanking going on around the former US bases for half a century. They are not at all shy about exploiting Nicole by turning her into an icon, and her tragedy into a banner of jihad against the Visiting Forces Agreement. That bilateral program of national security and mutual defense against terrorists and other common enemies of the Philippines and the United States is really what the hand-wringing, tear-jerking first half of Rina's essay was intended to attack.

From a writer's standpoint, let me just say that Rina Jimenez David may yet rue the choice of title for her piece: "We are all Nicole." Rina should hope nothing unsavory whatsoever comes out about Nicole. But in making that identification, Rina and the Lynch Mob have already denied the presumption of innocence for the accused, and have an investment in the outcome being "guilty"--no matter what the facts turn out to be.

No one deserves to be raped or exploited. Not by US marines. Nor by a Lynch Mob and its ideological supporters in the media.


manuelbuencamino said...


You're right. It's cheap to use victims. Nicole has been objectified enough.

First, as a toy for the soldiers and now as a soapbox by Rina David.

We're dealing with a real person here. Someone who believes she was raped and who is looking for justice.

The GIs have to be presumed innocent of rape. However, there is agreement in the stories of both Nicole and the soldiers that she was treated in a way that none of those GIs would have wanted their mother or sister treated. For that I believe it's okay for the males in Nicole's family to beat the living shit out of those GIs. And for Nicole to hit Rina on the head with a soapbox.

Rizalist said...

The thing I can't stand is the voyeurism of the media when they put out panties and condoms and semen stains and all those details. It's really trial by publicity with no semblance of dignity for the victim or the accused. And the undignified are piling on.

jhay said...

Rina's style of writing, at least to this extent her recent column and the media's voyeurism are what sells newspapers and keeps ratings up.

In this respect, we the ordinary viewers and readers enjoy and savor each detail the media spews out and we eageryl await what's next. It's like PBB all over again.

The Bystander said...

The case of Nicole has been blown out of proportions indeed. And it is true that the accused servicemen have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But you really cannot blame others if they equate what happened to Nicole to the numerous "rape" cases involving American GIs for the past hundred years. Dispute me if you will, but American soldiers sojourning Philippine territory tend to look at Filipinas as sluts whom they can easily have one-night stands with. If the U.S. is really sincere in putting a stop to these dastradly acts, it should undertake earnest efforts to etch in the f***ing minds of these soldiers that not all women would easily succumb to their white a**es.

In the case of Nicole, the U.S. until now refuses to turn over the physical custody of these soldiers to Philippine authorities. How will the latter then enforce the judgment of conviction in case the same is meted out? Given the seemingly unfavorale provisions in the VFA, it remains to be seen whether the U.S. would readily give up the freedoms of these people even with a conviction in the offing. It is in this context that Rina cannot be faulted for looking back at the historical relations between the Philippines and the United states and discover to her dismay that Filipinos are always placed at a disadvantage.

And please DJB, not all who oppose American policies are leftists or espousing leftist causes. You seem to forget the fact that there are those who oppose American policies purely out of a sincere desire to uphold the interests of your countrymen. Labeling won't help.

Rizalist said...

Well argued Bystander.

Now regarding the matter of physical custody. They are only going by what was agreed upon. And I have no doubt that if properly tried and convicted, these guys will be turned over to Philippine custody for sentencing and punishment. The VFA remember, also binds the Americans by law . I am sure the US Military is not interested in letting their men commit crimes of rape or other crimes. It is simply not in their national inhterests and only endangers their real mission here, which I remind you is of common interest to both nations.

It's not right to think that America is here to occupy our land for their own evil purposes. This time, they need our cooperation and vice versa. Why after all did these 4 us marines find themselves on R&R in Subic. Because they had been part of the Balikatan exercises!

Regarding labelling people, I agree and I'll be sneakier about it, err, more diplomatic about it the next time! But it is really public moral inconsistency that I often attack and label and detest in this blog. It's only coincidental that such intellectual dishonesty is much evinced by Leftists that I reserve a lot of ire and venom for them.

The Bystander said...

At least you still acknowledged that there are Filipinos (not because of some ideology) who only have our country's interests in mind.

As to the leftists or those espousing leftist causes, it is true they have their own agenda and are using the case of Nicole for propaganda purposes. And I agree with you 100% that it should not be so. But be that as it may, it cannot be denied that Philippine-American relations has been on an unequal footing since its inception. Presently, the best example of such unequal footing is the VFA where, inter alia, the aspect of criminal jurisdiction is clearly favorable to the Americans.

As to the issue of moral consistency/inconsistency, I think it cuts both ways. The U.S., whether you admit it or not, is as guilty as the Leftists for showing not only moral but intellectual dishonesty as well. Wasn't it Bush who lied to the world about the alleged WMDs in Iraq -- all for the purpose of justifying his invasion of a country whose leader he despises? This is of course another issue but I'm merely pointing this out if only to show to your readers that the U.S. is not as "good" as what it purports to be.

Rizalist said...

I think the matter of criminal jurisdiction is no problem. As I said, they have to be turned over if they have to go to jail. But the matter of custody before being convicted of any crime was a specific point that the Americans negotiated. The reason is that, let us admit it, Philippine jails are not fit for human incarceration! Whether they are americans or filipinos, no human being deserves to be cast into a jail like Bilibid or any of the city jails before conviction. Yet we have the most shameful record in the treatment of inmates in prisons, with the presence of 20,000 minor age children even being mixed in with the adult convicts. And that's Filipinos ha. I think the arrangement does not give the Americans any kind of advantage as far as the fair adjudication of the case.

As for the "unequal relationship" we keep blaming for our horrible plight 60 years after independence from America, how do you explain the example of Japan, which is a perfect, textbook example of a SEMI-COLONY of the United States. Japan has US bases on its soil, and gives the US military complete control of its own national defenses, with free and eager access to their territory by the US military. They are putting up Patriot Missiles for the US Air Force and equipping them with Japanese supercomputer guidance systems. Do the Japs know something we don't?

Give me inequality!

Amadeo said...


I salute you for being a voice of reason and restraint on issues affecting us here also, though we may be 7,000 miles away.

Let your cautionary tone on this issue and other similar issues impacting us here in our adopted country resonate among our compatriots there, which I hope carries the added advice to exert those extra-mile efforts specially when making such damning generalizations against an entire country or government, or its actions and policies.

Being so far away, even granting that the entire globe has been greatly reduced by electronic media and any and all information can easily be researched and available, there is at least an even chance that what one knows about something, say what the US does, may not be sufficient or entirely credit worthy for one to make an honest and reasoned judgment.

I spend a good part of my free waking hours scouring through all possible sources (the Internet, newspapers, cable TV, radio shows, etc.), both pro and con, and still I cannot in all honesty declare himself sufficiently conversant with all the burning hot-button issues now confronting this country, much less those of the entire world.

Thus, it serves us well to always be restraint and circumspect in our public declarations about issues that may be bigger than the little world we gravitate in. We could be proved wrong. And our reckless musings may just about shoot down any personal credibility we may have laboriously eked out

More power to you.

Karl M. Garcia said...

RE:Zhang Ziyi,
It is obvious that even if japan and China and Japan are economic partners,the Chinese still have deep hatred for the Japanese because the hate is imbedded in them for centuries,but what holds on are the WWII atrocities of Japan.

Ours is not not hatred for the Americans,if it is hatred we would treat them as the Chinese treat the Japanese.

It may be a matter of playing the underdog too much.
But if someone says it is about the interests of a nation;How do they differentiate Interests from Interesting.

john marzan said...

Tama si Tito Dean. I am not interested in "collective punishment" for the US troops. Parusahan lang ang mga taong dapat parusahan. No more talk about kicking the US presence out of Mindanao because of this rape incident. The US are our allies in the WOT and keeping Mindanao from turning into another haven for Jihadists.

I have a feeling though that the GIs will probably get an acquittal in this case. pero an acquittal does not necessarily mean na hindi sila guilty.



Allow me to echo the stand of Bystander: that not all who oppose the presence of Americans on Philippine soil or who oppose the invasion of Iraq are leftists.

Opposition to US presence in the Philippines can not be equated either to being anti-American either.

Reasons could very well be varied but the strongest is one's moral belief - I need not elucidate what that belief could be, suffice to say that I believe the US don't always hold the moral high ground in everything they've done these last couple of years.

Re I would also like to comment on "punishment of US marines if convicted": you will find that the VFA is precisely for that purpose; US military personnel involved in military exercises and who find themselves in "trouble" or accused of any crime in the Philippines (whether they are on an R&R or not) will not be turned over to Phil authorities and neither will they serve prison sentence in the Philippines if found guilty.

Those 4 US servicemen if convicted in the Philippines will serve their sentence in the US if they will serve it at all - I don't know how the US military justice could execute an RP sentence (since the US military won't have convicte or judged them) but there you are.

In 1993 or at the height of the discussion between RP and US over the final draft of the agreement, many top military leaders in active service then (I will not name them here) who were consulted and involved in the discussion refused the terms of the agreement as being one sided and for cause: RP military personnel who figure in a criminal case while in a military exercise in the US will answer for crimes, convicted and punished IN the US.

You will admit that it's a lopsided agreement but OK, the Philippines were pressured into accepting the terms as is and so be it. Our politicians were beggars and couldn't be choosers at the time (and continue to be so today). Had they not accepted the terms, there would have been dire consequences - the Philippines would have lost out on the "freebies" which aren't actually "freebies" so I reckon, there wasn't much they could do.

To give you an idea, Ambassador Kenney apparently announced that the Philippines stands to receive some 20million US$ worth of equipment from the US through FMF - well, they aren't actually freebies but that is another subject. (I'm quite familiar with US FMF as it used to be in the sphere of my former job.)

Again, allow me to complete your statement, "They are putting up Patriot Missiles for the US Air Force and equipping them with Japanese supercomputer guidance systems.": Any equipment added on to a basically US defence equipment of foreign sourcing is assembled and stamped US before it is added on to a major US military item particularly missiles and fighter aircraft.

The basic technologies may be foreign but they stop being foreign when they are assembled and finally produced in the US - assembly, production and ceding total control to US defence cleared companies and to basically US-owned companies ONLY are a pre-requisite for any foreign defence supplier to have a foot in the US defence market: no foreign item, equipment may be used in any major US defence equipment untill they've been classified solely as American technology with all the defence secret stamped all over it. Defence joint ventures must be defence dept approved and cleared before foreign defence companies may even link - even for the production of bolts or rivets but for as long as they are for US defence market, the Jvs with foreign suppliers must secure approval of defence and state depts.

In other words, the Japs who may have produced certain computerized items for the Patriot missiles no longer have control over their basic technologies and have surrendered total proprietorship of the technology to the US. The Japs can no longer produce the same for another foreign country without the approval of the US.

This is SOP in the defence business with the USA. (Again, I'm quite familiar with this scheme as it was part of my former job.)

Rizalist said...

I am not defending the VFA per se though I support it, just criticizing the exploitation of a crime for the purpose of opposing the VFA. I don't think those who have substantial criticisms of VFA are involved in such tactics. But I grant you, not all who oppose VFA are necessarily Leftists.

The other main point I did raise is the example of Japan over which you may have missed my point. Doesn't Japan disprove the basic premise that the presence of foreign troops on one's soil is a bad thing. The Japs willingly contribute their technology for the common defense.

What would have happened if Japan was more like us, do you think? They are a classical semi-colony, but it was in their national interest to work with the US. But we don't see the commonality of interest it seems.



Japan had no choice when McArthur took over as Governor General and the only way for them to go was to do what the US wanted them to do.

We did not have MacArthur helping us at that time if you remember. We lost him to our enemies. That was one of my beefs with MacArthur.

But that's history.

Having said that, these last few years we could have dealt with the US on a more even keel - if that was at all possible - but we didn't possess the start up technologies which the US gave to Japan without blinking right after WWII.

Just the same, we obviously could see commonality of interest with the US had we been more clever.

Unfortunately, we'd been tied up from the time Cory Aquino came to power to our own social, political, internal bickerings that we forgot that there was a world out there...

We really missed our chances but the blame goes both ways - US & RP.
One keen on maintaining a master status over a "de-facto" political colony, the other one keen on holding on to its underdog and beggar status.

The end result is we lose out at every turn.

Malaysia and Singapore have gone ahead by trillion of miles in terms of relationship with the US and have succeeded enormously where we have miserably failed.

I don't know if it's too late to reverse the tide but I do know that our politics and the people's misplaced sense of moral values are not helping at all.

Rizalist said...

okay, let me put it to you more directly: what would be the pros and cons of the Philippines turning over its entire defense infrastructure to the US? IN other words, how would you evaluate a proposal to Nipponize our foreign policy, in particular military and defense policy relative to terrorism and insurgency?

The "Submariner" said...

Pros? Plenty...
Cons? Inumerable

How would I evaluate it? Badly because there is no point of referrence so your question is open ended - Japan has NOT surrendered its foreign policy to the US. But the Philippines virtually has yet it has not succeeded in shedding its bad partner image. Clearly there's something wrong.

I am not even even carping against the US here. They would always be takers if only we were at the level of their wanted givers.

Rizalist said...

Let me try to refocus the question. I think the basic issue is our military relationship with the US. I bring up Japan because I think she took a far wiser course than we have in basically turning over her external defense to the US, which accepted the job because it was in her national interest to turn japan into a rich ally not a poor defeated enemey. We turned out to be the poor victorious ally. But Japan, Malaysia, Singapore did not have communist insurgenices like we do. And I think that is the difference. The Left kept our political ruling classes pinned down, until they themselves were convinced that "independence" was the way for the Philippines to go. Nationalism has not meant love of the Philippines but hatred for America. That seems to be the legacy of Constantino and his generation of thinkers. And they are still doing it! Independence aint really what it was cracked up to be. Of course it's water under the bridge.

Here I am only asking: didn't a semi-colonial military policy work out great for Japan?

The "Submariner" said...


Let me clarify your statement re Malaya. Communism and communist insurgency were present in the same proportions in Malaysia and Singapore. The difference was Britain fixed the problem in a different manner.

During WWII, some of the most heroic acts performed on the Malaya peninsula were by communists and Britain knew this.

Do you realize that after WWII, Lord Mountbatten went back to Singapour personally to thank and honor these Malaya Peninsula guerillas (and they were already Communists) who fought the Japs?

Mountbatten's act did not stop communism nor the insurgents but Britain and their partners in Malaya contained them and succeeded where the Americans and the Philippines failed.

Perhaps tthe Americans had not done things correctly in the Philippines and therefore failed.

Unfortunately, there is no one stroke solution to the communist issue in the Philippines today. Even the Americans know that and even if you surrender the Philippines to the US today, they will not accept it. Too much on their plate already.

Dave said...

This was obviously a show trial, not about obtaining justice for anyone. There are 2000 rapes a year in the Philippines, like the Bicolano who raped and killed his cousin this year. Prosecute him but don't expect banner headlines from the objective press.