Laude family wants VFA exec cited for indirect contempt

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2015 05:24 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2015 05:00 PM

MANILA – The family of slain transgender Jennifer Laude wants Undersecretary Eduardo Oban, executive director of the Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), be cited for indirect contempt.

Laude's sister Marilou, through lawyer Harry Roque, told the Olongapo Regional Trial Court (RTC) that Oban must be held liable for allegedly not following a court order on where Pemberton must be detained.

Olongapo RTC Judge Roline Ginez Jabalde initially ordered that Pemberton be committed to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa after the latter was found guilty for killing Laude.

However, Pemberton's counsel made a motion for clarification, asking for the confinement of Pemberton at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Custodial Center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Jabalde then ordered the Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces to produce in five days a memorandum of agreement between the US and the Philippines indicating Pemberton's detention facility mutual agreed upon by the two sides.

The court said Pemberton must be detained at the AFP Custodial Center pending the release of the MOA.

But instead of being brought to the AFP Custodial Center, Pemberton was allegedly brought to the Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), located also in Camp Aguinaldo.

''These actions are in clear disobedience and violation of the lawful order of the Court to temporarily detain him at the AFP Custodial Center under the supervision of the Bureau of Corrections,'' Laude's petition read.

''More importantly, the act of placing Pemberton at the Joint US Military Assistance Group facility in Camp Aguinaldo is a blatant and disgusting attempt to rob the Philippine Government of jurisdiction over a convicted felon. By bringing Pemberton to the premises of JUSMAG, which is effectively under the control of the Government of the United States of America, the Philippine Government was deprived of its authority to supervise and control the manner of his detention and to make sure that he is treated in the same manner as an ordinary convicted felon."

Aside from Oban, Laude is also asking the court to cite for contempt 11 John Does who ''refused to hand him (Pemberton) over to the [Philippine National Police] to be brought to Bilibid while his lawyers quickly filed a motion asking the court to clarify where he should be detained under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)." – report from Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News