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Cablegate: Marine Case Update 03/09/2007

VZCZCXRO0584
OO RUEHNH
DE RUEHML #0779 0680755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090755Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5605
INFO RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA IMMEDIATE 0087
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 000779

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR KCRM CASC RP
SUBJECT: MARINE CASE UPDATE 03/09/2007

REF: MANILA 467 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) Lance Corporal Daniel J. Smith remains in U.S.
custody on Chancery grounds and continues to be in good
health and spirits. He continues to receive regular visits
from his Philippine pastors and his lawyers, and is able to
exercise on the Embassy grounds.

2. (SBU) Philippine government officials have not visited
Smith since Department of Interior and Local Government
Undersecretary Corpus visited LCpl. Smith February 7
(reftel).

3. (SBU) Smith's parents notified CONS/ACS on March 7 that
they plan to be in Manila March 20-26 to visit him. CONS/ACS
had earlier provided information on local hotels and relayed
an offer of assistance from the American Association of the
Philippines (which helps American prisoners, among other
charitable activities), which the Smiths apparently do not
intend to take up. Instead, they appear to have accepted the
support of a local American for hotel accommodations and
transportation. Embassy has offered public affairs officials
to brief LCpl. Smith's parents on handling the Philippine
press. Smith's lawyers have not indicated whether they will
seek publicity for this visit, but Embassy believes this
likely.

4. (U) Approximately 20 people attempted to demonstrate near
the Embassy on March 6. They delivered a news release to the
RSO wherein they demanded that the Embassy "show proof not
only of Smith's presence within the Embassy's premises but
that he is detained." The RSO denied the request and the
police moved the protesters to a nearby park without
incident. Approximately 120 protesters also demonstrated
near the Embassy on March 8 against the Visiting Forces
Agreement. The demonstration occurred in conjunction with
International Women's Day and there were no incidents
reported.

5. (U) The Court of Appeals has yet to receive the Makati
Regional Trial Court's certified and complete record of the
case. Upon such receipt, the Court of Appeals will notify
defense counsel, which will then have 30 days to file Smith's
appellate brief.

6. (U) The private prosecutor dropped charges on March 8
against the driver of the van in the case, claiming the
victim was exhausted by the trial. The driver had been
originally charged as a co-conspirator but a trial court
judge dismissed the charges against him.

7. (U) President Arroyo on March 7 appointed retired General
Edilberto Adan as new executive director of the Visiting
Forces Agreement Commission, which oversees implementation of
the VFA. As previously reported, then-Executive Director
Zosimo Paredes was fired after he publicly criticized the
Administration's transfer of Smith to U.S. custody without a
court order. General Adan is well and favorably known to
Embassy from previous service as Armed Forces of the
Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff, as AFP spokesman, and as
then-Southcom commander.


Visit Embassy Manila's Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website:
http:// www.state.sgov.gov/
KENNEY

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