Monday, October 13, 2014

Govt won’t assert jurisdiction over US soldier in transgender killing yet – Palace exec

From GMA News (Oct 13): Govt won’t assert jurisdiction over US soldier in transgender killing yet – Palace exec

Malacañang will wait for police investigators to ascertain the alleged involvement of a US serviceman in the killing of a transgender woman in Olongapo City before deciding whether the government will assert jurisdiction over the American soldier.

"It’s unconfirmed so we will let the ... authorities first determine what happened in that incident," presidential spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda said at a press briefing on Monday. 
"Until such time we would not like to make any comment or speculate as to the next steps taken," he added.
Earlier in the day, the US Embassy in Manila said a US Marine had been identified "as a possible suspect" in the killing of Jeffrey Laude, who also used the name Jennifer.
American military vessels have already been barred from leaving the Philippines until the probe on Laude's killing is concluded.

Also on Monday, UP professor Roland Simbulan called on the Philippine government to exert all efforts to ensure that the American soldier would not be able to leave the country.
Under the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the US, "Philippine authorities shall have jurisdiction over United States personnel with respect to offenses committed within the Philippines and punishable under the law of the Philippines."
The agreement, ratified by the Philippine Senate in 1999, gives US authorities exclusive jurisdiction over American personnel "with respect to offenses relating to the security of the United States" such as treason, sabotage and espionage." 

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