Cheap

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A hundred thousand pesos nowadays will buy you 1/20th of a two-bedroom house in a cheap suburb of Manila, and less than 1/10th of a previously-owned 2004 Series Three BMW sedan. The same amount should just about cover the insurance for both purchases.

It’s not much — about US$2,000 — given today’s prices. But that’s what US Marine Daniel Smith is supposed to have paid Suzette Nicolas, the “Nicole” of the November 1, 2005 Subic rape case, who now says, in so many words, that she wasn’t quite sure if Smith raped her. And yet she was raped was what she had been saying for three years. Branch 139 of the Makati Regional Trial Court believed her enough to convict Smith, though not to condemn him to death as Ms. Nicolas earlier told the media she wanted.

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