Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of the Regional Trial Court Branch 74 of Olongapo City said that the arraignment of US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton will take place on February 23, 9 a.m., as disclosed by Assistant City Prosecutor, Ria Nina Sususco.
Jabalde set the arraignment on Monday, after throwing out the motion for inhibition filed against her by the prosecution team and the legal counsel of Pemberton’s alleged victim, of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude.
Pemberton’s lead counsel, lawyer Rowena Garcia-Flores, confirmed that her client would comply with the order to appear in court, as scheduled by the judge.
The us serviceman was charged with murder on December 15, 2014, after Laude’s body was found in the bathroom of an Olongapo motel into which the suspect and the victim allegedly checked in.
Meanwhile, Laude’s camp filed for the inhibition of Jabalde from hearing the case against Pemberton, calling into question the judge’s transparency and neutrality.
Jabalde says she junked the petition, because although she and Pemberton’s lawyer were classmates in law school, she was “never influenced” by anybody in her decisions
involving the case, and her connection to Flores “has nothing to do with [the conduct of court proceedings].”
Virgie Suarez, one of the lawyer’s of the Laude family, said that their camp is looking forward to the arraignment, despite the inhibition having been junked
“At the end of the day, what’s important is that Pemberton will be arraigned and the Laude family has long been waiting for it,” Suarez said.