Militant lawmaker wary of Aquino ‘compromise’ over transgender slay suspect
MANILA, Philippines—A militant lawmaker said Tuesday that President Benigno Aquino III might not assert custody over Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the suspected killer of transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude last Saturday in a Olongapo City hotel.
Gabriela Women’s Party-list representative Emerenciana “Emmi” De Jesus said that the Aquino government should demand the swift turnover of Pemberton to Philippine authorities.
“We want justice for Jeffrey [Jennifer] Laude. Like Jennifer’s family, we are wary about what Aquino is going to compromise to the US military on the pretext that the Philippines is bound by the provisions of the VFA [Visiting Forces Agreement],” De Jesus said in a statement.
The militant solon also called for the abrogation of the VFA and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement as these agreements facilitate “impunity” of American soldiers to continue abusing Filipino women.
“Gabriela maintains that US military basing in communities abetted by EDCA worsens prostitution, trafficking, drugs, and spread of diseases, and Aquino needs to listen to demands to scrap the agreement,” De Jesus added.
Pemberton is currently detained on board an amphibious ship. Olongapo police said that a murder charge will be filed against the Marine.
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