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Olongapo Transgender Murder Case: What Happens Now?

How will justice be served? And how will this affect our relationship with America?
by Mikey Agulto | Oct 15, 2014
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Sad news, everyone. As most of you know by now, a Pinay transgender was murdered inside a motel in Olongapo City over the weekend. The killing is widely being considered as a hate crime. 

The victim, Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude, was found dead inside the Celzone Lodge in Barangay East Tanipac on Saturday night, and was reportedly last seen with a foreigner. Press play on the video below to know more about the incident:

Video via GMA News

Here's the thing: The motel's CCTV footage revealed that the suspect happens to be a U.S. serviceman. In fact, a witness has already identified the attacker as Private First Class Joseph Pemberton, who's currently detained in a U.S. navy ship in Subic Bay. Hindot!

We know things are a bit complicated since the suspect is an American Marine, but what are the chances of Pemberton actually going to jail? How will this affect our Visiting Forces Agreement with the USA? Where will the suspect be prosecuted if this thing pushes through? And more importantly, where does that leave us?

Continue reading below ↓

Read on to find out what we know so far...

The United States will keep custody of Pemberton. "Under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the custody of the erring solider stays with the Americans," General Gregorio Catapang told ABS-CBN News. "Hopefully, they will surrender the identified soldier that is allegedly involved in the incident." Our government can opt for a custody request, but the chances of it being granted are nil.

Video via GMA News

The Philippines, however, has criminal jurisdiction over the case.
While the U.S. has the right to deny us custody, the VFA provision also states that American authorities must deliver Pemberton if his presence is needed in investigative or judicial proceedings, since he will be tried under Philippine laws in a Philippine court.

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