Palace: Pursuit of justice for Laude continues despite US witnesses’ departure
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Tuesday reiterated its promise to bring justice to murder victim Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, a day after it was revealed that four American witnesses were allowed to leave the country.
“Patuloy na itinataguyod ng pamahalaan ang pagkamit ng hustisya sa kasong pagpaslang kay Jennifer Laude,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told Palace reporters.
(The government continues to uphold the pursuit of justice in the murder case of Jennifer Laude.)
The Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said the US Embassy in Manila confirmed that the four US Marines had left the country after giving their affidavits.
Asked what the government will do next, Coloma said it is the Olongapo City prosecutor that is heading the preliminary investigation and will decide when the accused, Private 1st Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, and the witnesses will appear.
The Secretary did not answer if a Philippine court has the power to summon foreign nationals to testify.
He said the governments of the Philippines and the United States are coordinating to ensure that justice will be served.
Pemberton, who was in the Philippines for the joint military exercises, is being accused of killing Laude last October 11. Laude’s body was found slumped on a toilet bowl in an Olongapo City lodge where she checked in with a man that looked like a foreigner. The four soldiers were reportedly with Pemberton at the bar where he met Laude.
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