Kerry pledges due process, rule of law in Laude case

By Troy Espera, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 21, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Secretary of the U.S. Department of State John Kerry has given assurance the United States will cooperate with Philippine authorities in the Jennifer Laude murder case.

Kerry says the U.S. will continue to respect the rule of law and uphold its Visiting Forces Agreement with the Philippines.

He made that statement prior to his meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario in Jakarta at the sidelines of the inauguration of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

“We’re not seeking a special privilege, and everybody’s rights will be appropriately protected. And that is exactly what we will do here,” Kerry said. “Due process will play out, and we will work with the Philippines in order to make certain that rule of law and the agreement are upheld.”

Del Rosario added: “We do have all the mechanisms in place so that justice can properly be served.”

As the two leaders touch on the Laude murder case, another issue looms on the horizon.

Kerry urged Asia-Pacific leaders to step up efforts to cut off the flow of foreign fighters and funding to the Islamic State in the Middle East.

In September, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said that Washington had been monitoring ISIS recruitment in Southern Philippines.

Goldberg’s statement followed the posting of a Youtube video by Islamic militants that showed them declaring their support of ISIS.

Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos also claimed ISIS is training more than 100 Filipino fighters. –with reporting by Reuters

You can contact Troy Espera at troy_espera@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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