US Embassy: Attending preliminary hearing is Pemberton’s call

United States Embassy in Manila continues to assure that US government will cooperate and work with Philippine government to seek for justice in the slaying of a Filipino transgender. “The United States continues to fully cooperate and collaborate with Philippine authorities in all aspects of the case concerning the death of Jennifer Laude,” US Embassy in Manila said in a news release today, Sunday.

The embassy added that four US Marines tagged as witnesses had already appeared in the City Prosecutor’s office and made their sworn statements. “Last week, City Prosecutors met with four witnesses and swore them to their statements in accordance with Philippine law, satisfying the requirements of the City Prosecutor and the “make available” language of the U.S. – Philippine Visiting Forces Agreement.”

Olongapo City Prosecutor’s office, in a subpoena, ordered for the appearance of five US Marines including Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton as a suspect in a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, October 21.

“The witnesses will not appear on Tuesday, as they have already met their current legal obligations. In accordance with the VFA, the witnesses will be made available for the trial,” it explained. While attending the formal hearing is Pemberton’s decision.

“Whether the suspect will appear on Tuesday is a decision that the suspect will make in consultation with Philippine legal counsel, in accordance with Philippine law. We refer you to that counsel for details,” the embassy said.