Laude kin want lead prosecutor replaced

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The mother and sister of slain Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude went to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday morning to reiterate their plea for the replacement of Olongapo City Prosecutor Emilie delos Santos as lead public prosecutor in their case against US Marine Pfc Joseph Scott Pemberton.

Julita Cabillan and Malou Laude, accompanied by their lawyer, Harry Roque, told reporters they are accusing Delos Santos of not representing their interest in the case.

Pemberton is facing murder charges for Laude’s death in a lodge in Olongapo City last October.

Laude’s kin hit Delos Santos for not allowing their lawyers, led by Atty. Harry Roque, to participate in the criminal aspect of the murder case.

“Humihingi kami ng tulong kay [Justice Secretary] Leila De Lima para naman po kailangan na naming palitan ang aming fiscal na si Emilie Delos Santos kasi ayaw niya bigyan ng tulong kami… bakit ayaw niya makipagtulungan sa aming mga abugado?” Malou Laude said.

Mrs. Cabillan accused Delos Santos of seemingly siding with the defense.

“Yung aming fiscal, parang nasa kabila. Imbes na makipagtulungan sa aming abugado, lumilihis. Parang pinipilit pa niya na imbes na murder, homicide na lang,” Cabillan said.

The Laude camp, meantime, denied that they are in favor of a plea bargain deal with Pemberton amid reports they have already agreed to it.

“Kahit siguro bigyan ako ng one million dollars, hindi sapat sa akin dahil napakalaki kinuha niya (Pemberton) sa akin,” Cabillan said.

Asked, however, if she has already rejected all possibility of an out of court settlement, Mrs. Cabillan said,”Titingnan ko lang po sa abugado namin dahil siya nakakaalam sa amin.”

Roque said it’s up for the public to conclude who is behind the plea bargain deal, but stressed “it definitely is not the Laude side nor the defense side.”

For her part, Delos Santos has denied initiating the plea bargain deal.

Delos Santos earlier warned that she did not want the Laude case to turn into a circus, and stressed that the public prosecutors are in charge of the criminal aspect of the case while the private prosecutors may represent the Laude’s interests in the civil aspect.

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  • Generoso Magaoay
    24 March 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    According to Alex Herrera (former Marine), there are many young marines out there who became victims of similar situations where they spend time with someone in a hotel, only to find out that their partner is of the same gender. It is an unfortunate situation that it is what it is and after a few beers or alcohol drinks, their judgement is clouded.