• AFP presses case against Suselbeck

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    THE Armed Forces (AFP) is bent on having Marc Suselbeck, the German fiancée of slain Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude, deported for climbing over a fence in Camp Aguinaldo near where a US Marine suspected of killing Laude was being detained and for assaulting a camp guard last Wednesday.

    Suselbeck had apologized for the incident, saying he merely wanted to find out if the Marine, Joseph Scott Pemberton, was really detained at the Mutual Defense Board Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) compound inside Aguinaldo.

    Despite the apology, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang wants the German deported, saying Suselbeck’s action assaulted the “dignity of the country.”

    “The AFP will still send the letter (detailing Suselbeck’s misdemeanors) to the German Embassy and the Bureau of Immigration,” Armed Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said on Saturday.

    Suselbeck was scheduled to fly out of the country on Saturday after attending the funeral of Laude in Olongapo City on Friday.

    If the Bureau of Immigration finds that he committed an offense, he will be prevented from returning to the country.

    The Filipino soldier that tried to stop Suselbeck will be given cited by Catapang for his professionalism and restraint.

    TV footage caught the German shoving Mariano Pamittan when the guard approached him and Marilou Laude, Jennifer’s sister.

    Pamittan said he explained to Suselbeck that he was entering a restricted area and he could be arrested, but the German pushed him out of the way.

    On Saturday, Pamittan said he understood that the intruders “have valid concerns. I also sympathize with the family because they lost a loved one. I also want them to have justice and closure for their loss.”

    But he said he had “a duty I must fulfill, which is to secure Pemberton who also has his own rights. That is why despite their misbehavior, I exerted tolerance,” Pamittan said the camp commander, Brig. Gen Arthur Ang, “directed us to exercise maximum tolerance.”

    Catapang directed Ang to prepare a citation to recognize Pamittan during the flag-raising ceremony on Monday.

    Pamittan belongs to a clan of soldiers, with over 20 of his relatives in the military. He is married to Myrna Pamittan and they have six children.

    His family raises hog in their backyard to help pay for his children’s schooling.

    His eldest child, Mary Jane, 18, is taking up criminology in a college in Tuguegarao City.

    A native of Enrile, Cagayan, Pamittan, 44, joined the military in 1991 after taking up automotive mechanic in college.

    He first joined the First Scout Ranger Regiment in 1992 and was assigned to the 5th and 9th Companies until 2006.

    He was assigned to conflict areas in Northern Luzon, Visayas, Sulu, and in Central Mindanao.

    Pamittan saw action in the campaign against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2000.

    Pamittan also fought in Barangay Dicamay Uno, Jones, Isabela, against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in 1993.

    “I’m lucky because even after my years in the service and these encounters, I did not sustain even a minor injury,” he said.

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