Philippines: US marine accused of trans woman’s murder moved to Filipino headquarters
The US marine formally charged with the murder of a trans woman has been moved to the Philippines’ military headquarters, although still remains under United States custody.
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.
Until now, the suspect was held on board the amphibious assault ship Peleliu.
However, due to criticisms following his failure to appear during preliminary investigations, Pemberton was moved on Wednesday to the Philippines headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
President Benigno Aquino told reporters: “I don’t think there is any shielding. There is the desire for protection of everybody’s rights, from the victim to everybody who is accused.”
He added: “I think they [the US military] are responding to our needs and our sensitivities.”
Politicians in the Philippines are pushing for a tougher anti-discrimination law following the incident, which has also stirred anti-US sentiment.
Senator Bam Aquino said: “We should impose heavier penalties so that these discriminatory and inhumane acts will be eradicated.”
He has pushed for a new bill entitled the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2014 which seeks to prohibit and penalise discrimination of any form, citing a rising number of hate crimes against LGBT people has risen in the past years.