MANILA—The Supreme Court (SC) en banc on Tuesday dismissed with finality the petition of the Laude family seeking the transfer of detention of United States Marines Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton to a local jail.
In a press conference, SC Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te said that “the Court denied with finality the Motion for Reconsideration filed by petitioners from the Court’s Decision dated November 24, 2015 dismissing their Petition.”
Pemberton was convicted of homicide by the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 74 for strangling to death Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in Olongapo City on Oct. 11, 2014.
The petition was filed by Marilou S. Laude and Mesehilda S. Laude, Jennifer’s mother and sister, respectively.
“Wherefore, premises considered, the Petition for Certiorari is dismissed for lack of grave abuse of discretion resulting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The prayer for the issuance of a writ of mandatory injunction is likewise denied for lack of merit,” the SC ruled.
In dismissing the petition, the SC cited the petitioner’s failure to comply with the three-day notice rule is unjustified.
It also cited the separate filing of the urgent motion to compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to surrender custody of accused to the Olongapo City Jail without the conformity of the public prosecutor is unjustified as every criminal case is filed in the name of the People of the Philippines, represented by the public prosecutors.
The SC noted that the petitioners have not shown any reason for exceptional treatment.
Likewise, the SC cited the petitioner’s challenge to the constitutionality of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is a collateral challenge which is not the “lis mota” in this case.