“First of all, we regret the incident and we want to assure everybody we are supporting whatever the investigation would conclude upon,” Armed Forces Chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang said. He then added that the killing of a Filipino transgender involving a US soldier will not hurt US-PHL relations.
He added that the incident is an isolated case which happened after Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 15. The joint military exercise closed one day before the incident on Saturday, October 11.
“We are bothered, we are hurt because this is a fellow Filipino who was killed, regardless of gender, he is still a Filipino and we have to fight for his rights and for justice,” General Catapang added.
A murder complaint was filed by the family of the victim at Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office against US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.
Presidential Commission for Visiting Forces Agreement Retired General Eduardo Oban said that the good time to ask for custody of Pemberton from US government is when a warrant of arrest is issued.