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Palace not worried over suspension of Pemberton case

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - There is enough time to complete the murder trial of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton for the death of transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude within the one-year timeframe set under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the two-month suspension of court proceedings granted to Pemberton by the Olongapo City regional trial court is part of the judicial process that should not be ignored.

The court on Tuesday allowed the 60-day suspension, pending a ruling on a petition filed by Pemberton with the Department of Justice seeking a review of the murder charge against him.

“We have to follow it because it’s the legal process and the process is one of the rights of the accused. We’re just following the process being implemented,” he said.

“It’s the intention of this government to ensure that justice is served and within the timeframe set under the VFA, the trial must be concluded within a year,” he said.

“This timeframe has just started. There is enough time to finish the trial,” he said. 

Pemberton was last seen with Laude before the latter was found dead inside the bathroom of a rented motel room he shared with the Marine in Olongapo City. According to police, Laude died of “asphyxia by drowning.” 

After telling his superiors of his encounter with Laude, the Marine was held on the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu then docked in Subic Bay.  – With Ding Cervantes

 

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE JEFFREY MARINE LANCE CORPORAL JOSEPH SCOTT PEMBERTON OLONGAPO CITY PEMBERTON PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS OPERATIONS OFFICE SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR. SUBIC BAY VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT WITH DING CERVANTES
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