US soldier linked to the killing of Filipino transgender

A US Marine, linked in the killing of a Filipino transgender in Olongapo city, is currently detained. Naval Criminal Investigative Service of US is now coordinating with local police to investigate on the crime scene and help identify who committed the crime.

Initial report says the Filipino transgender Jeffrey Laude, 26, checked-in at the Celzone Lodge at around 11 before midnight of Saturday with a white male foreigner. After several minutes, the white male foreigner left alone. At 11:45 pm, an attendant discovered the dead body of Laude inside the toilet.

The identity of the US Marine was not disclosed. The Marine is a member of a unit which participated in PHIBLEX 15. Three other Marines were also detained as possible witnesses.

PHIBLEX 15 aims to “to improve inter-operability and combat readiness of the participating forces and of course enhance security cooperation in the region.”

US Embassy in Manila said, “We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident.”

“We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the PNP (Philippine National Police) to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects,” the embassy added.