Olongapo murder, VFA review must be treated separately, says Palace

By on October 19, 2014

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude's Facebook account
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey ‘Jennifer’ Laude’s Facebook account

MANILA — Malacanang clarified that the issue on Jennifer Laude’s killing and the review of the Visiting Forces Agreement must be treated separately.

Some quarters says the quest for justice for Laude’s murder may be compromised because of the country’s defense agreement with the US.

“The issue for Jennifer should be treated separately. Because the issue on the VFA and calls for its abrogation, (as well as) ucalls for its review should be discussed on a different level,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview on Saturday.

“Kasi iba po ‘yung pinag-uusapan diyan, marami hong considerations when you talk about the review of a particular agreement that we have with another sovereign country,” she added.

And as far as the investigation on Laude’s death is going, there is a process that everyone has to follow to the letter to make sure that there are no technical aspects that are being forgotten, Valte said.

It would also be a disservice to Laude if prosecutors rush things up and in the end lost the case because of technical issues, she said.

On the threat of Laude’s family to storm the US ship this weekend to serve the murder complaint, Valte made an assurance that the government is determined to serve justice to the family.

The Laude family complained of the delays in the government’s investigation on the case.

The government can’t rush things up, Valte said because there is a process that has to be followed in terms of dealing with criminal complaints relating to US servicemen.

Joseph Scott Pemberton, a member of the US Marines, is the prime suspect in the alleged killing last week of Laude in an Olongapo City hotel.