• Laude family asked to pursue murder case

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    THE Anakpawis party-list on Saturday urged the family of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude not to compromise the case against US Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton by agreeing to a monetary settlement.

    Rep. Fernando Hicap said this is not only an issue of justice but also the fight for sovereignty against “creeping” foreign military intervention.

    “There is a bigger picture in the Laude case that is questioning the legitimacy of foreign military troops who go in and out of the country so freely under a one-sided military agreement. We are asking the family of Jennifer Laude to pursue the case against Pemberton,” Hicap said.

    Hicap added that the Laude case is a test case for the Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which is under scrutiny on whether it follows constitutional provisions by the Supreme Court.

    “The settlement will probably weaken our case against EDCA. If EDCA will get a favorable decision in the Supreme Court, expect unlimited US troops deployment along with their different nuclear-powered war machines in our country. Such cases like the rape of “Nicole” and now the murder of Jennifer will likely be repeated because there will be another Pemberton on the loose,” the militant lawmaker said.

    It was reported earlier that the Laude family has denied asking for P38 million and six US visas before they drop the case against Pemberton.

    Laude, a transgender, was found dead on October 11, 2014 inside a bathroom in one of the rooms at the Celzone Lodge in Olongapo City. A witness allegedly saw Pemberton and his friends in a bar before heading to the Lodge.

    Pemberton, meanwhile, during a court hearing last week admitted to choking Laude after he discovered he was not biologically female.

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