PHL government seeking custody over Pemberton after arrest ordered

“We welcome the progress made so far on the case, and as we stated earlier, we will now formally seek custody over the accused PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton,” Department of Foreign Affairs said after the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court released the arrest warrant for Pemberton.

However, U.S. Embassy in Manila said in a statement that “in accordance with the U.S.-Philippine Visiting Forces Agreement, the United States has a right to retain custody of a suspect from the commission of the alleged offense until the completion of all judicial proceedings,” U.S. Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines said that it is ready to comply any order regarding the US Navy serviceman. “Whatever we are told to perform, we will readily comply. If he is asked to be placed in another facility and we are asked for our assistance, we will readily extend that,” said AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla.