MANILA, Philippines, March 18 (UPI) -- A Filipino woman has recanted rape accusations against a U.S. Marine in a case that aroused nationwide resentment, her attorney said Wednesday in Manila.
The woman, identified as "Nicole," has accepted $2,000 in civil damages from jailed Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith and has left the Philippines for the United States, attorney Evalyn Ursua told the Philippines Star.
U.S. officials say Smith has been under Marine guard at the U.S. Embassy compound since Philippine authorities transferred him there from a Manila jail weeks after he was convicted. He was found guilty in 2006 of raping "Nicole" a year earlier after a night of drinking at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base near Manila.
The Philippines Supreme Court ruled last month that Smith should be returned to the Manila jail but U.S. officials have balked, arousing anger at President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who was seen as giving favored treatment to an American.
Smith, however, cannot leave the country until the Court of Appeals dismisses the rape charge against him, unnamed Philippine government officials involved in the case told Inquirer.net.