By Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News
Oct. 27, 2014
Prosecutors and the lawyers of the Laude family came prepared.
But the suspect in Jennifer Luade’s killing, American soldier Joseph Scott Pemberton, was nowhere in sight.
It was the last day for Pemberton to file a counter-affidavit. His lawyer instead submitted an omnibus motion.
“To declare the absence of probable cause for murder or any other crime against respondent,” said Rowena Garcia Flores, lawyer of Joseph Pemberton. “In the event that this honorable office does not declare the absence of probable cause, at the very least to reduce the charge to homicide, considering the lack of circumstances qualifying the offense to murder.”
Because the deadline for Pemberton to submit his counter-affidavit already lapsed, Pemberton is considered to have already waived his right to challenge the evidence presented at the prosecutor’s office.
“The panel will go on with its task of determining probable cause,” said Emilie Delos Santos, Chief of Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office. “We will rely on the evidence submitted before us, and the evidence that we will get from the ocular and the forensics.”
The chief prosecutor also castigated the police handling the investigation.
“Asan ang mga personal belongings?” asked Delos Santos. “Kailangan yan ng prosecution and defense.”
A representative of the U.S. Judge Advocate General’s office says Pemberton is indeed detained in Camp Aguinaldo.
But the Laude family still wants to make sure.
“May request ang nanay ni Jennifer na Makita mismo si Pemberton,” said Harry Roque, lawyer of the Luade family.
“Nanay, darating din ang pagkakataon na yan, maghintay ka lang,” said Delos Santos. “Ilalabas din nila yan.”
On November 5, prosecutors will inspect the scene of the crime, and it’s most likely Pemberton will also not be around.
But Pemberton’s lawyer says the U.S. Marine will fight the charges against him.