Prosecutors ask court to junk Pemberton appeal
Bebot Sison Jr. (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2016 - 9:00am

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines – The camp of slain Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude asked the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court to dismiss the motion filed by US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton to “partially reconsider” his conviction for homicide.

Private prosecutors filed a 14-page petition asking the Olongapo RTC to deny Pemberton’s bail application.

Pemberton filed a petition for bail and for partial reconsideration with respect to the damages awarded to the victim’s family following his conviction in December.

In seeking partial reconsideration and clarification on the damages awarded to the Laude family, Pemberton’s lawyers argued that the P4.32 million awarded to them for loss of earning capacity was excessive since Laude had no regular income as a sex worker.

Prosecutors, however, said Laude earned a living and supporting his mother.

They also said Pemberton’s claims were “blatant attempts to paint a dark shade over the character of the victim and are disgusting attempts to deny the victim’s family what is due them.”

The prosecutors also said Pemberton’s application for bail should be denied, citing the high probability of Pemberton flying out of the country to jump bail.

Prosecutors also noted that despite “a clear order” from the court to temporarily commit Pemberton to the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City pending clarification of the agreement between the Philippine and US governments on where Pemberton should be incarcerated, he “never set foot” in the prison.

Pemberton is detained at a facility in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The 20-year-old Pemberton was originally charged with murder for the death of Laude but in a verdict on Dec. 1 last year, the court announced him guilty of homicide.

RTC Branch 74 judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde said the prosecutors failed to establish the presence of cruelty and treachery, two elements necessary to qualify the case for murder.

In a petition filed before the court, defense lawyers asked Jabalde to reverse the Dec. 1 decision and allow their client to post bail and to reduce his jail term.

Pemberton’s lawyers also argued the court ignored evidence that could establish that another person may have killed the transgender.

Defense lawyers also claimed that the judge did not take into account the testimony of Raquel Fortun, a forensic expert who testified that Laude did not die from asphyxia caused by drowning.

Pemberton’s lawyers added their client deserved a lighter sentence for the death of Laude, citing his immediate surrender to authorities after the incident.

ACIRC CAMP AGUINALDO LAUDE MARINE JOSEPH SCOTT PEMBERTON MUNTINLUPA CITY NATIONAL BILIBID PRISON OLONGAPO CITY REGIONAL TRIAL COURT PEMBERTON QUEZON CITY RAQUEL FORTUN ROLINE GINEZ-JABALDE
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