PH must get custody of US Marine in transgender slay – Justice undersecretary | Global News

PH must get custody of US Marine in transgender slay – Justice undersecretary

/ 04:31 PM October 14, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – A Justice undersecretary who once stood as counsel for one of the four US Marines accused of raping a Filipina in early 2005 said the Philippines should have custody of Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton who was implicated in the death of a transgender in Olongapo.

Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano said that under the Visiting Forces Agreement, in order for the US government to have custody, they have to make a request.

Under the Article V Section 6, “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,” Justiniano said.


“The law stated that the US government has to take a request, so, the implication is that we do have the primary custody,” Justiniano said.


Justiniano was the counsel for Lance Corporal Keith Silkwood who was one of the four accused of raping “Nicole” in Olongapo. Silkwood and his two other co-accused were acquitted.

Only Lance Corporal Daniel Smith was convicted. Justiniano became Smith’s counsel when he appealed his conviction.

However, in the latest criminal case involving an American Marine, he explained that even if the US government will have custody of Pemberton, the Philippines could still pursue the case against him.

“The US government has the obligation to produce the soldier during preliminary investigation and during trial,” he said.

It is expected, Justiniano said, that the US will ask for his custody, he said it is already up to the Department of Foreign Affairs to decide if it will be granted or not.

He explained that during the trial of Smith, Silkwood, Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier, all the four were under the custody of the US government. They were with the US embassy during the whole duration of the trial.



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TAGS: Features, Global Nation, Jeffrey Laude, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, US troops

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