Senate sets probe into transgender slay, to invite family, police
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate committee on foreign relations headed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago will look into the killing of a Filipino transgender allegedly by a US Marine in Olongapo City.
Santiago, in a statement on Wednesday, said her committee would start its investigation on or about Wednesday, October 22, in time for the Senate resumption of sessions next week.
Among those who will be invited to the hearing, she said, are police operatives assigned to the case, hotel employees on duty when 26-year-old Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laud and the suspect, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, allegedly registered for a room, as well as family members and friends of the victim.
Santiago described the timing of the alleged crime as “egregious” as it came just after the joint military exercises between the two countries, and just before American and Filipino military leaders met on Tuesday, for discussions on the new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
The senator insisted that the Philippines has jurisdiction over the suspect because the alleged offense was reportedly committed in Olongapo City and was punishable under the Philippine Penal Code.
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