Philippines: US marine accused of trans woman’s murder fails to appear for investigation
The Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines has said it is “disappointed” the US marine formally charged with the murder of a trans woman had failed to appear for today’s preliminary investigation.
It comes after 26-year-old Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck was found strangled on this month, naked with her head in the toilet.
US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton – who was one of hundreds of US marines in the area for a training exercise – was formally charged last week of the woman’s murder.
In a press briefing in Manila today, Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said: “We are of course disappointed that the respondent did not appear [in] today’s preliminary investigation.”
However, Jose says the US government is not to blame for Pemberton’s failure to appear at the Olangapo City Prosecutor’s Office as “the respondent was acting on the advice of his legal counsel.”
He added Pemberton “may be considered to have waived his right to be heard.”
“The prosecutor should be able to determine the consequence of is non-appearance, nonetheless the preliminary investigation continues,” he said.
Marc Sueselbeck, who previously condemned the “animalistic bestiality” of Pemberton, had urged the suspect to face the preliminary investigation earlier today.
He said: “I hope that he would at least stand there… and face the full consequence of what he did.”