For days, news about a 22-year-old Filipina from Angeles City, Pampanga who was allegedly raped by eight Koreans made the rounds on social media, and as expected, Filipinos and Koreans are divided in opinion on whether or not the Filipina is telling the truth.
WHAT HAPPENED ACCORDING TO THE FILIPINA:
She went out with a Korean she had met in an online dating website who goes by the name Lee. They ate and drank at a restaurant in Angeles City. After that, she got on Lee’s car and he blindfolded her. She was brought to a bar where other men were waiting. She was forced to drink soju and was sexually abused. The men also inserted a bottle in her genitals and burned her foot and legs with a lighter. She was able to remove her blindfold and saw seven other men with Lee. Lee then took her to a hotel where he raped her again. When the intoxicated suspect fell asleep, she managed to escape and ask for help.
When news of the gang rape first came out, many Filipinos felt sorry for the Filipina who happens to be a single mom, but as information of ongoing investigation broke on Korean and Filipino news, some have expressed doubts. One of the accused Koreans, Lee, voluntarily went to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Pampanga to clear his name, saying that the rape claim is a set up.
“I came here to clean my name and tell the truth, that there is no gang rape happened. I came to show I am innocent, the complainant allegation is a form of discrimination,”
WHAT HAPPENED ACCORDING TO THE KOREAN:
He paid the Filipina for sex, but instead of giving her the amount they agreed upon, which is 3,500 PHP, he gave her only 1,000 PHP, and told her to get the rest of the payment the next day. As for the burn on her foot, he said that she accidentally burned herself with her cigarette while she was smoking at the restaurant.
Apparently, the woman is a sex worker. A witness, also a Filipina, who was with Lee and the supposed victim the day the alleged gang rape took place also gave her statement.
WHAT HAPPENED ACCORDING TO THE WITNESS:
She was eating at a Mexican restaurant with Lee and the Filipina around 1 o’clock in the morning, the time the supposed victim claimed she was sexually abused by eight Koreans. They were together from 12 midnight to 4 o’clock in the morning. She and her Korean live-in partner stayed in the same hotel where Lee and the supposed victim checked in. When she knocked on Lee and the supposed victim’s room to ask for a towel, she did not see other men in the room.
CCTV footages of them dining together at a restaurant and checking into a hotel at about 4 in the morning support the Korean’s and the witness’s statements. The authorities are skeptical because of the lack of evidence that the seven Koreans involved in this case exist. According to the Korean Embassy’s own investigation, there was no gang rape that happened. The Filipina, however, will pursue the case.
Many have come to believe that the real vcitm here is not the Filipina, but the Korean, but until the investigation is over, we can’t say that this is just a fake rape claim to blackmail an innocent tourist (or foreign businessman) for money, or another poor Filipina was abused by a foreigner who thinks of her as a sex object rather than a woman worthy of respect despite the kind of job she has.
Angeles City is the most Korean-populated place in the Philippines. Although many Koreans come to Angeles to study English or put up a business, it can’t be denied that some Koreans visit the place because of its red-light district. A place in Angeles City called Fields Avenue has become a den of sex workers because of many foreigners who patronize the place. Nowadays, Korean-owned videoke bars that offer “secret service” have mushroomed in Korean Town. It is impossible not to spot a Korean with a Filipina prostitute in Angeles City’s red-light district. Many of these Koreans are married men which makes them easy targets for blackmailers.