Jennifer Laude’s kin air frustration over gov’t lack of action on murder case
OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines—Frustrated over the supposed lack of action from government agencies, relatives of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, the transgender Filipino who was found dead in a hotel here on Oct. 11, said they would be forced to serve a copy of the murder complaint to the American soldier held at a ship docked in Subic Bay here.
In a press conference on Thursday, lawyer Harry Roque, legal counsel of the Laude family, lamented that no representative of concerned government agencies, either from the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement or the Department of Foreign Affairs, had coordinated with the family even after the complaint for murder was filed against Private 1st Class Joseph Scott Pemberton of the United States Marine Corps on Wednesday afternoon.
“Hindi naman natin sila mapapanagot kung walang hakbang na gagawin ang ating pamahalaan (We cannot make them answer the complaint if the government will not do anything),” Roque told reporters.
“The family wanted to know what the government will do to ensure that Pemberton will receive the copy of the criminal complaint,” he said.
Roque said he would meet with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Thursday afternoon to know about the government’s plan on the case.
Julita Laude, the victim’s mother, expressed her family’s determination to have the complaint delivered to Pemberton on Saturday should the government fail to act by Friday. Pemberton has been held at the USS Peleliu since he was identified by a witness to be the white man with a military haircut who had gone into a hotel with Laude right before she was found dead in the hotel bathroom.
“I and the rest of my family will board the ship so we can deliver a copy of the complaint… We will fight because we want justice served,” she said.
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