Tuesday, December 16, 2014

AFP to transfer Pemberton to another jail if ordered

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 16): AFP to transfer Pemberton to another jail if ordered

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday said it has no role in the trial of US Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton saved to secure the latter and if needed and ordered to, transfer the American prisoner to another jail facility.

The AFP made this statement after noting that prosecutors have already recommended that Pemberton be charged with murder in connection with the death of transgender Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude last Oct. 11.

"The case of Pemberton is already in the hands of the prosecutors and the courts that is trying it and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Visiting Forces Commission," said AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla.

He added that their role for the moment is to secure the suspect in their facility and to ensure that Pemberton is available for the courts once schedule for trials have been made.

"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," he added.

As this develops, the US, citing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), asserted custody over Pemberton.

"In accordance with the US-Philippine Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), 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," the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement posted on its website.

It added that "the United States will continue to cooperate with Philippine authorities in this case."

"The United States will continue to work closely with the Philippine government to help ensure justice is served and the rights of all persons are protected," it said.

"We again express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased," it added.

During investigation of the case, Pemberton was detained aboard US warship USS Peleliu in Subic Bay.

On Oct. 22, the suspect was flown from the USS Peleliu to Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo "where he will be held under US custody."


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