Santiago calls Pemberton detention under American watch ‘offensive,’ ‘unacceptable’
Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago described the transfer of Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton to a detention facility in Camp Aguinaldo but under the guard of American troops as “offensive” and “unacceptable.”
“What strikes me as offensive is that although he is in a so-called detention facility inside Camp Aguinaldo, he is being guarded by Americans,” Santiago told reporters in an ambush interview Wednesday following a hearing about the alleged killing of transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude.
“What for when there are Filipino members of the AFP who are already guarding the premises? I find that offensive to us because it indicates there is no trust on the capability of our own armed forces. I find that unacceptable,” she said.
AFP Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said in a press conference earlier Wednesday that Pemberton will be temporarily detained inside the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board compound.
Pemberton is under joint custody of the US and the Philippines while staying inside a 20-foot container van with comfort room. Two US Marines will guard over him, one inside and one outside.
Four Filipino soldiers will serve as perimeter watch, Catapang said.
The legal counsel of the Laude family, Harry Roque, said that “tough Pemberton is detained in Camp Aguinaldo, US still has custody over him. The family has the right to face Pemberton.”
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