No guarantee US will hand over Marine held in transgender murder


Oct. 14, 2014

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said it will request the United States to waive custody of the US Marine tagged in the slay of a transgender woman in Olongapo City over the weekend.

Speaking at a press conference, DFA spokesperson Charles Jose cited Article V, Section 6 of the Visiting Forces Agreement which states that US has jurisdiction over the physical custody of a US personnel tagged in a crime not related to his line of duty.

“The custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings,” the pertinent VFA provision read.

Jose, however, said there is no guarantee that the US will grant this request.

“Custody will be automatically be with the US unless we request the US to waive. We can do that (request custody) but there is no guarantee [if they will grant it]… They may continue to have custody over the suspect,” he said.

Also citing the VFA, Jose said the Philippines ”shall have jurisdiction over United States personnel with respect to offenses committed within the Philippines and punishable under the law of the Philippines.”

The US Marine, identified by the Philippine National Police as Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, has been tagged in the killing of transgender woman Jeffrey Laude alias Jennifer.

Laude was last seen alive checking in at the hotel in Olongapo City. The hotel staff said her companion, described as a foreigner, already left the hotel when Laude’s remains were found.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    15 October 2014 at 3:57 am - Reply

    Family of the victim will accept any settlement from US dept. … it could be a life time supply of Ramen noodles or steam bun.

  • Delia
    15 October 2014 at 8:12 am - Reply

    This incident cause by two humans are equally to blame . The transgender person thought she caught a big fish , while the Marine thought, he finally landed in the land of paradise , which turn out to be the land of hell .Military personnel should wise up , like Tom Hanks said in his film Forrest Gump , you’ll never know what you gonna get .

  • kuya
    15 October 2014 at 11:21 am - Reply

    My only wish is for the transgender people to be honest to themselves and specially to their customers to avoid problems like that.