Karapatan condemns AFP for 'coddling' Pemberton

By Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2014 05:18 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2014 01:18 AM

MANILA - Human rights group Karapatan condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for allegedly coddling criminals like US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton and retired Major General Jovito Palparan.

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said the AFP has nothing to gain in filing charges against Marilou Laude and Marc Sueselbeck, the sister and fiance of slain transgender woman Jennifer Laude, respectively.

Palabay said the two just expressed their grief and frustration over the murder case of Laude when they scaled a perimeter fence at Camp Aguinaldo where Pemberton is being detained.

She said the AFP should just let it pass.

In a statement on Thursday, AFP spokesman Harold Cabunoc said they will send a letter to the German Embassy and the Bureau of Immigration about Sueselbeck's misbehavior.

Cabunoc said Sueselbeck's behavior is in violation of Presidential Decree No. 1227, or the law Punishing Unlawful Entry into Any Military Base in the Philippines.

He said Sueselbeck "assaulted a person in authority, the on-duty Filipino soldier guarding the holding facility. He forcefully shoved said soldier after climbing the perimeter fence."

Meanwhile, members of Karapatan and other militant groups held a protest in front of Camp Aguinaldo Thursday.

They accused the military of killing community organizers and torturing members of the New People's Army (NPA) in Abra.

"While making sure that the likes of Gen. Jovito Palparan and US marine Joseph Scott Pemberton are safe and free inside military camps, the [AFP] carries on its attacks against the Filipino people like bloodthirsty savages," Palabay said in a statement.