Laude’s German boyfriend, sister regret confronting soldiers
OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines — The German boyfriend of slain transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude said he erred when he confronted soldiers guarding a gate leading to the detention facility of US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Wednesday.
“It was not right. It was disrespectful toward the Philippine authorities,” Marc Sueselbeck said here on Thursday.
He said he overheard the military joking about Marilou, Laude’s sister, getting inside the facility that, he added, prompted him to climb over the gate and join her.
Pemberton, the main suspect in the murder of Laude, 26, inside a motel here on Oct. 11, was previously held on the American warship USS Peleliu at Subic Bay but was transferred to a detention facility jointly managed by the US and Philippine governments inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines general headquarters on Wednesday.
Marilou, who climbed over the gate leading to a fenced area where Pemberton’s detention facility has been set up, said she was also sorry for what happened in Camp Aguinaldo.
“It was a spur of the moment decision and we already apologized to the military guards,” she told reporters here.
Sueselbeck, who followed Marilou and was later seen pushing a soldier who tried to prevent him from getting near Pemberton’s detention area, said he was wrong and had apologized to the military guards and to “everyone involved in it.”
“I did not intend to offend the military. I did it because I just want to negotiate with them about showing the suspect to us,” he said. “My intention was not to mess with them. It was a decision at that very the moment and I did not think of it carefully.”
Sueselbeck said American authorities have been ignoring the Laude family’s demand to show Pemberton to them, forcing him to confront the military guards.
Asked about the AFP’s complaint in the German Embassy against him, Sueselbeck said he found that situation “weird,” because he and some AFP officers in Camp Aguinaldo had talked and settled the issue before their group left the camp on Wednesday.
“We already apologized. What more can I do?” he said.
Sueselbeck said he would let the lawyers of Laude’s family answer the issue.
Harry Roque, counsel for the Laude family, said when he talked to Sueselbeck, the German national explained that he “just blanked out” and did not know the strength that suddenly seized him and propelled him to do what he did.
“He wishes to apologize to the Filipino marine guarding the outer reaches of the facility he unintentionally ran against,” Roque said.
The military is studying possible actions on Sueselbeck.
But Roque appeals for understanding.
“Our clients are losing hope that justice will be served at all in the death of their loved one. Surely the armed forces understand their predicament,” Roque said.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima refused to comment on whether Sueselbeck violated Immigration laws.
However, De Lima said the action of Sueselbeck is ‘unnecessary.’
“We can commiserate with their grief over the loss of a loved one but maybe, those acts are unnecessary,” De Lima said.
Sueselbeck, 41, an accountant, is scheduled to return to Germany on Sunday. But he said he would return to the country to attend the trial once Pemberton is charged in court. With a report from Tetch Torres-Tupas, INQUIRER.net
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