In My Own Words - Ron Centeno

a collection of thoughts and sentiments...in my own words

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3/20/2009

The Recantation

Written by Ron Centeno

In the evening of November 1, 2005, a girl named “Nicole” was having a blast at the Neptune Club in Subic. She bottomed up the alcoholic drinks vodka sprite, B52, Singporean sling, B53, long island ice tea, and bullfrog. Alongside, she found herself kissing passionately a U. S. marine named Daniel Smith while sitting on his lap. One thing led to the other and the next thing she knew, she was inside a van with Smith and his two other companions en route to the seawall of Alaba Pier. It was inside the van where the alleged rape was committed based on her testimony three years ago. Because the court sided with her version of the story, Smith was convicted.

From then, “Nicole” became the rallying cry for the modern-day “Gabrielas” and a symbol in her image was drawn to remind the perverted foreigners to show some sense of respect to our Filipino women. A large size of the Filipino people had thrown their fists into the air to celebrate their legal victory over the so-called white supremacy. Others, however, were not totally convinced. And out of the many conflicting opinions, the purported rape would not be put to rest since then.

On 12 March 2009, however, an act that was hoped to put closure to this brouhaha, “Nicole” wrote a dumbfounding affidavit recanting her own story that would essentially set Smith free.

Found in that affidavit, “Nicole” sworn, “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.”

Recall her earlier testimony that the rape was committed inside the van. That was then. Her affidavit now completely disproves that.

Her current version is “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.”

In effect, if her latest side of the story is in fact true, then the court has no authority to put Smith behind bar because of “LOUD MUSIC AND SHOUTING INSIDE THE VAN.”

At any rate, if her overall intent is to put all else to end, so be it. I doubt, however, that her intent be granted knowing that our preoccupation as a people is to bask on someone else’s missteps. All the more, her recantation opens the door to a more vigorous debate.

18 Your Thoughts/Comments Here::

john said...

Personally I believe that Nicole was indeed raped, if we would look at the facts it is clear that she was drunk that night, half conscious because she could still recall what happened plus all the loud music and shouting inside the van, but the fact remais that she was too weak to resist smith that night..for me what Nicole made was not a recantation but merely a reaffirmation of what happened that fateful night. Whether she allowed Smith to have sex with her or not the fact remains that the night the sexual act was done she was intoxicated and deprived of reason and smith took advantage of her intoxication... furthermore on the part of nicole, the opportunity to resist or defend herself was nil...all the pieces of evidence both physical and circumstantial points to smith as the culprit.

Goddy said...

Hello, Ron! This case was investigated in our very own office. Honestly, I was never interested in this case! I am sending you an email...

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

What an interesting story and playing Devil's advocate is fair Ron.......
But, I mostly do believe that if a woman says that she was raped then she probably was.
I worked in the criminal justice system fo 15 years and it is appaling the things that man can to to each other.
Take good care and......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Mokong™ said...

Ron, i was surprise with that news the first time i heard it.
I dont know want Nicole want why she did it, why she opposed what she said in the court way back the time kung saan galit na galit at gustong-gustong ipakulong itong si Smith...
Hmmm.... i dont know...

xprosaic said...

Nice article! For me, she wouldn't be 'touched' if she didn't gave any motives but anyway it's only me so better not talk anyway. I prefer not to indulge myself with these sensitive issues as it might lead to further arguements, however, to each is own. I just hope that our society would be more mature in dealing these kind of issues. -peace-

The Pope said...

I have been following this case, and it does not surprised me if Nicole will "recant" her testimony against Smith. There are several factors, but first let me make it clear that I firmly believe on the 'rape verdict' is correct.

Her continuing saga on the sensationalized media, the slow pace justice system, the Government, the Leftist and the Oppositions, the Church and NGOs, and the accused party has push Nicole to the wall. Who can withstand all these pressures?

Did she really sold her original testimony for the value of P100K? Aren't you disturbed by this meager amount against a very high profile case which has almost cracked the RP-US relations? Or did she fell into a trap and became a victim to a manipulative deal?

So many questions unanswered, but let us give Nicole peace that may she find solace on her decision.

But her recantation cannot change other facts, the credibility of the scientific evidences of medico legal and the witnesses testimony which leads to a guilty verdict. And the rest becomes part of a history.

Steve Morozumi said...

what what. i hope it all works out for the best. i'm definitely confused by this and was never privy to the case to begin with.

i am curious though, if "Nicole" was paid, who paid her? and which testimony was she paid for? the original one in court, or her later one, or both?

-Steve @ fluxlife

gillboard said...

i don't think I'd trust anymore whatever will come out of that girl's mouth. maraming naniwala and sumuporta sa kanya nung kainitan ng issue, tapos bigla na lang babawiin...

tsk tsk tsk

Ratty said...

It sounds like to me that she was raped. Maybe the pressure and publicity got to be too much for her, and she wanted it to end. She may have been unsure of some of the events, and finally convinced herself that it wasn't that bad.

Dina said...

Hi 3M,

Kumusta ka na? Just dropping by to see how you are. Very serious posts you have here.

I have a feeling she's sick and tired of the issues and just decided to recant.

David Funk said...

This is a very delicate debate indeed. Certainly the pressures on both sides of the opinion are tense at the very least.

However, the can of worms with this latest story just makes it that much worse. Personally, I haven't followed it closely until reading this and Tammy's blog about it.

It has definitely gotten more confusing with this latest twist!

Nice post Ron!

^_edSie_^ said...

If what she's saying now is true, then it's very unfortunate for Smith to have gone through the whole ordeal of being convicted and jailed up. And how come, after all this years, she just realized that now? Tsk tsk..

Ron Centeno said...

Thank you all for your thoughts on this case!

John B.M. said...

...what happened is clearly a "date rape", the only thing that could absolve smith for raping nicole is a sweethearts defense but in this case they are not even sweethearts, nicole although half conscious is put in a situation whereby she was too weak to resist hence whether she allowed smith to have sex with her or not that night it is clear that smith took advantage of her intoxication there must be a big reason behind nicole's statents but the facts are the facts and the evidence points to smith...

Mac Callister said...

from the very first i never believed that she was raped at all...

twinks said...

Hi Ron,
Hmmm...first time I heard about this my initial reaction was "just another filipina wanting her 15mins of fame". I dunno. I don't really follow this case. Whatever her reasons are for changing her statement let us just respect it. Both parties were irresponsible with their actions. All I can say is next time you go out, don't drink too much. lol. ^_^

Btw, following your blog. Great post!

CZEL (Vanity's Child) said...

i did not wish, but anticipated even before that she will have this kind of statement.

tsk tsk.. madaming nadamay, pati ang Neptune club dito sa Subic nagpalit na tuloy ng pangalan. lol.

Shawie said...

wow! I have not heard anything from that case anymore...thanks for the very informative article, Ron...very fairly-written.
The case was so confusing at first and all the more 3 years later... too bad:(
Hope her story will serve as a lesson for both parties...

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