Candles, prayers offered for Jeffrey ‘Jennifer’ Laude’s 27th birthday
OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines–A simple celebration with family and friends at the beach. That was how slain transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude would have wanted to celebrate her 27th birthday on Tuesday, her sister, Marilou, said.
Marilou said Laude loved to swim and did not want to spend too much for her birthday.
“It didn’t have to be extravagant. What’s important was that she could celebrate with us,” she said.
Laude would have turned 27 on Tuesday, three weeks after she was found dead inside a motel in this city on Oct. 11. A murder complaint has been filed against the primary suspect, US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.
The Laude family spent most of Tuesday offering prayers for her sister, Marilou said, adding that her only wish was to get justice for her sister’s death.
Family members visited Laude’s tomb at the Olongapo Heritage Garden and offered Mass and lighted candles while groups supporting the family held prayer vigils in Metro Manila, Pampanga province and Cebu City.
Lawyer Virgie Suarez, one of the counsels of the Laude family, said simultaneous candle lighting activities were held in Quezon City, Malabon City, City of San Fernando in Pampanga, and Cebu City.
The activity, called “Light a Candle for Justice for Jennifer,” was led by groups Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) and Kaisa Ka, Suarez said.
On Nov. 5, the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office, together with lawyers representing the Laude family and Pemberton, will inspect the disco bar and motel where the victim was last seen alive.
The prosecutor’s office has yet to finish the preliminary investigation on the murder complaint filed by the Laude family against Pemberton, who is held at a facility jointly managed by the American and Philippine governments inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.