MANILA — The family of slain Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude sought the help of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday for the inhibition of the Chief Prosecutor of Olongapo City Emily Fe delos Santos from the handling of the murder case against United States Marines Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton.
Laude was allegedly killed by Pemberton in Olongapo City last Oct. 11.
In their two-page letter written in Tagalog, Laude’s mother Julita Cabillan and sister Malou Laude told DOJ Secretary Leila M. De Lima that they are seeking the help of her office in the said case.
They claimed that they have the right under the Constitution to have a prosecutor of their own choice in whatever case they are pursuing.
Hence, they said they cannot understand why the current Olongapo City Chief Prosecutor could not agree to cooperate with their lawyer in the defense of their right to ensure justice for the death of Jennifer Laude.
The Laude family was accompanied to the DOJ by their counsel, Atty. Harry Roque, and personally delivered their letter to the Office of Secretary De Lima.
In their letter, the Laude family said the public prosecutor herself utttered for several times already that they would not allow their private counsel to help in the criminal aspect of the case.
They added that they could not understand the public prosecutor that in the matter of “plea bargaining,” it is necessary to plead for a “lower offense” while the civil aspect will proceed with the “trial.”
They pointed out that they also could not understand especially that even in the case conference called by the public prosecutor, their private lawyer was not even allowed to represent them, neither allowed their counsel to witness or be included in the case conference for the preparations on the scheduled trial for March 23.