August 02, 2008

Court martial set for US soldier charged w/ Pinay's rape in Okinawa

By Veronica Uy
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 11:16:00 08/01/2008


MANILA, Philippines -- The American soldier who is accused of raping a Filipina in Okinawa, Japan has been charged by the United States Army, setting the stage for his court-martial, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday in a statement.

"On July 28, the United States Army charged Specialist Ronald Edward Hopstock Jr. with the rape of a Filipino woman under section 120 of the US Uniform Code of Military Justice," it said.

As a result of information discovered during the course of the Army criminal investigation, the US Army also charged Specialist Hopstock with additional offenses unrelated to the Filipina victim. The DFA did not specify these additional offenses.

The Commander of the 10th Army Support Group, US Army Japan, then appointed an independent officer (IO) to conduct an Article 32 (UCMJ) hearing, a prerequisite to a court-martial. (The rest here)

Good for her! It's about time these US soldiers be taken to task with their abuses of women. I don't mean to put them all in one bunch, but if you remember the case of the 'Nicole' who got raped in Subic, what happened? Wala. Our authorities were so super-scared of pursuing the case because of the government's overdependence on the U.S. military for its hand-me-downs.

And because of the ensuing moro-moro in court (sure the accused was found guilty but...), and seeing how Philippine authorities behaved like patsies anyway, the U.S. military didn't even bother to bring him to court martial. Who knows, the kid, Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, is probably safe in his family's arms in the U.S. already, and not at the U.S. Embassy in Manila as claimed. Meanwhile, the case is on appeal and is expected to reach the Supreme Court. Kawawa naman si Nicole.

At least out there in Okinawa, where the Japanese authorities are apparently more thorough and really put the U.S. military on the spot, this Pinay is getting the justice that is due her. Kudos to the Okinawans considering they are losing the military bases by 2009, with the transfer of the Marines to Guam.

Despite the advances we females have made in society, certain men still like to treat us like trash. It doesn't matter what sector of society she belongs...even if she is wealthy, or just poor, a student, a career woman, or a hooker. When a woman says, "No," she means "No!"

2 comments:

rommel said...

ms. arnaldo,

it's not really related to this post, but i just want to express my appreciation for your article, "on living well", that came out last august 1 in the business mirror.

i think its wonderful that there are people like you that remind us that life is a personal responsibility, and the results we get are primarily of our own making. we may not always be in what we feel are ideal situations, but the fact remains that we have the strength and the skills needed to enjoy our lives anyway.

it's always good to be reminded about these things. thanks again!

rommel (rommel_acosta99@yahoo.com)

(p.s. also, i love the quote "argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they are yours." it's from one of my favorite books, richard bach's illusions. i think this will be the first time that i actually encountered someone who used that quote, hahaha!)

Stella Arnaldo said...

You're welcome Rommel and thanks as well for your kind words. I was about to post that column tomorrow :)

Yes, the quote is from Richard Bach's Illusions. (Remember those days when his books were all the rage? haha) Thanks for reminding me. That quote has stayed me for the longest time (since I was in high school pa ata...but let's not go there) and has always been an unconscious principle in my life.

Thanks for reading this blog and my columns in BM. Wishing you a prayerful Sunday and a good week ahead.