Marine sentenced in Philippines rape case is rushed to hospital
The Marine lance corporal sentenced in December to 40 years in a Philippine prison for raping a 22-year old Filipina was rushed to a hospital in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday night after complaining of abdominal pain, according to Philippine press reports.
Daniel Smith, 21, is being held on the U.S. Embassy compound in Manila while his appeal is pending.
The lawyer handling his appeal, Jose Justiniano, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that he had not been made aware of Smith’s transfer to Makati Medical Center.
“I last saw him about three weeks ago,” Justiniano said. “At that time he was in good spirits and appeared healthy.”
Smith was arrested with three other Marines, all assigned to the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, on Nov. 1, 2005, while on liberty inside the Subic Bay Freeport.
He allegedly had sex with the inebriated woman inside a van while three Marines watched.
The three others were acquitted and returned to Okinawa, where two lance corporals were disciplined under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and a staff sergeant was punished in a summary court-martial.
Citing privacy guidelines, Marine officials declined to answer queries concerning what punishment they received in the nonjudicial actions.
The rape became a high-profile case that triggered anti-American rallies and calls for revising the Visiting Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Japan.
The protests continued when it was revealed that instead of being confined to a Philippines prison, Smith was allowed to remain in custody on the embassy compound while his appeal is pending.
According to press accounts in the Philippines, Smith remained in the hospital Wednesday morning for tests to determine what caused the abdominal pain.
A Philippine spokesman told reporters that, in accordance with guidelines set up for Smith’s detention, he was informed by the U.S. Embassy of the emergency.
He said doctors at the embassy advised that Smith be taken to the hospital for treatment and tests and that arrangements had been made for security at the hospital.
The U.S. Embassy had no comment on Smith’s condition Wednesday.
“For privacy and safety reasons we cannot comment,” said Stacy MacTaggert, an embassy deputy spokeswoman.