DFA assures Pemberton still in PH
MANILA, Philippines—After the absence of Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton during Monday’s preliminary investigation which the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), its spokesman assured that the US Marine is still in the Philippines as he was personally seen by someone from the “Philippine side.”
After the absence of Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton during Monday’s preliminary investigation which the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), its spokesman assured that the US Marine is still in the Philippines as he was personally seen by someone from the “Philippine side.”
“We are disappointed that the respondent did not appear at today’s preliminary investigation. The respondent was acting on the advice of his legal counsel, which is part of the legal process and the rules of court,” DFA spokesman assistant secretary Charles Jose said in a briefing Tuesday.
“By not appearing he may be considered to have waived his right to be heard. The prosecutor should be able to determine the consequences of his non-appearance. Nonetheless the preliminary investigation continues,” he said.
Pemberton is accused of killing Filipino transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in Olongapo City last October 11.
Asked whether there was proof that Pemberton, who is detained on board the USS Peleliu docked at the port of Subic, is still in the country other than the assurance of the United States (US) Embassy, Jose said someone has personally seen him.
“Somebody from the Philippine side has actually seen him face-to-face to make sure that he is in the Philippines. We cannot disclose who but we can assure you that somebody did,” Jose said.
“He was brought down from the vessel and they met on land,” he said.
It was the request of the Philippine government to see and identify Pemberton there, “around last week”, Jose said.
Previously, four other US Marines who are considered as witnesses were allowed to leave the Philippines without informing the DFA.
They have submitted their sworn affidavits to the Olongapo prosecutor’s office through a legal counsel.
In the preliminary investigation, the counsel for Pemberton said they will avail of the 10 day period to further study the details of the case after which they “may or may not submit their counter affidavit.”
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