http://worldmeets.us/images/pemberton-mugshot_pic.jpg

U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton: Charged in the

Philippines with the murder of Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude, a transgender

man who Pemberton seems to have killed upon finding Laude was not

a 'real woman,' the U.S. military refuses to hand him over.

 

 

Pemberton Murder Case is a Treaty Breaker for the Philippines (The Philippine Star, Philippines)

 

"The big question is whether President Aquino is prepared to play power poker. Termination would put an end to the Philippine humiliation of having a foreign power, claiming to be a friend and ally, mock its judicial process by refusing to surrender custody of U.S. Marine Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, accused of murdering a Filipino, to a proper court. ELet us move for amendment. Failing that, serve notice of termination (to take affect after 180 days) to force the reopening of substantive renegotiations. Without the VFA, Pemberton will have to be taken into custody by a Philippine court."

 

By Federico D. Pascual Jr.

                                             http://worldmeets.us/images/Frederico-D-Pascual-Jr_mug.jpg

 

December 21, 2014

 

The Philippines - The Philippine Star - Original Article (English)

TERMINATE IT!: Instead of allowing itself to be led by the nose by the United States on the Laude murder case, the Philippine government should immediately serve notice of its intention to amend the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement [VFA] on criminal jurisdiction and other issues.

 

Failing that - since the VFA has no provision for renegotiation or amendment - the Philippine government should move one step further and notify the U.S. that it is terminating the deal after the agreed-upon 180-day notice period.

 

Depending on the political mood on both sides, the notice of termination should force a renegotiation - even if the procedure for rewriting the VFA is not in the text of the agreement.

 

The big question is whether President Noynoy Aquino is prepared to play power poker.

 

IMPLICATIONS: What if the U.S. bluffs and says it is amenable to dropping (terminating) the VFA altogether? So be it!

 

Termination would put an end to the Philippine humiliation of having a foreign power, claiming to be a friend and ally, mock its judicial process by refusing to surrender custody of U.S. Marine Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, accused of murdering a Filipino, to a proper court.

 

Termination means there will be no more VFA and its Article V (Criminal Jurisdiction) that the U.S. invokes with its splitting-hairs argument that while the Olongapo court has jurisdiction over the case, custody of the accused Pemberton remains with the United States.

 

With VFA terminated, only pertinent Philippine laws and local court procedures will control. The Olongapo court will then have sole and exclusive jurisdiction and custody of the U.S. Marine.

 

http://worldmeets.us/images/Jeffrey-Jennifer-Laude_pic.jpg

Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude: Drowned to death in a motel toilet. Investigators

theorize that she was killed when U.S. Marine Scott Pemberton realized

she was not a 'real woman.'

 

HARDBALL: In lieu of the VFA, the United States cannot invoke the older Mutual Defense Treaty and the still-to-be-formalized Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. They do not apply.

 

What will apply is power politics. President Aquino better be ready to play hardball.

 

The mighty United States can pressure President Aquino and the array of business interests that to a great extent control the actions of the sitting administration.

 

President Aquino should be ready to withstand the pressure since he is not running, and cannot run even if he wanted to, for reelection. He can just wave goodbye to the entire mess. To pressure him in his last two years, the White House will have to use other levers of influence.

 

Believing in Filipino resiliency, I dare say that we can survive any U.S. move to make it difficult for us.

 

U.S. VERSION: At this point, it seems Malacañang [the presidential palace] is already feeling the pressure.

 

We now have an anomaly in which the Philippines itself is going through contortions to justify Pemberton’s remaining outside its custody and being held in the exclusive embrace of the U.S. Malacañang itself is already surrendering a point of sovereignty.

 

Listen to Foreign Affairs spokesman discuss the Pemberton case and weep. He twists and mumbles his assigned lines justifying U.S. custody.

Posted By Worldmeets.US

 

U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg joins in and explains the Philippine befuddlement, saying that authorities on both sides are working out a “common interpretationEof the contentious VFA provision on criminal jurisdiction and custody.

 

We aren't holding our breath. As sure as Pemberton will be freed and some Laude family members awarded U.S. visas, the “common interpretationEbeing sought will be substantially the American version.

 

THE TEXT: For quick reference of readers, here is the text of Section 6 of Article V in question:

 

6. The custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings. United States military authorities shall, upon formal notification by the Philippine authorities and without delay, make such personnel available to those authorities in time for any investigative or judicial proceedings relating to the offense with which the person has been charged. In extraordinary cases, the Philippine Government shall present its position to the United States Government regarding custody, which the United States Government shall take into full account. In the event Philippine judicial proceedings are not completed within one year, the United States shall be relieved of any obligations under this paragraph. The one year period will not include the time necessary to appeal. Also, the one year period will not include any time during which scheduled trial procedures are delayed because United States authorities, after timely notification by Philippine authorities to arrange for the presence of the accused, fail to do so.

 

MANILA YIELDING: Goldberg said in a TV interview: “We are going back and forth about this issue but at the same time working out what I think are mutually satisfactory solutions so that we can keep the suspect for example - as we have in Camp Aguinaldo - where we both have a role in making sure the suspect appears for trial.

 

He explained: “We have certain legal and service-related obligations to a U.S. soldier, who is in this case a Marine.

 

A helpless Foreign Office appears to have surrendered, saying it would no longer contest U.S. custody of Pemberton. The U.S. justification for keeping him while on trial, it added, was “not inconsistentE with the VFA.

 

The devil is in the details of the VFA that then-President Fidel V. Ramos allowed into the body of a lopsided contract with the United States.

 

This brings us to our original point: Let us move for amendment. Failing that, serve notice of termination (to take affect after 180 days) to force the reopening of substantive renegotiations.

 

Without the VFA, Pemberton will have to be taken into custody by a Philippine court.

 

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SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Philippine Inquirer, Philippines:
Angry She wasn't 'Real Woman', Report Says Marine Killed Laude
Philippine Inquirer, Philippines:
U.S. Hardware, Not Nationalist Rants, Can Defend Philippines
Manila Times, The Philippines:
Filipinos, African-Americans and the 'Black Man's Burden'
Philippine Daily Inquirer:
Except for his Dark Skin, Obama Can Do No Wrong in Philippines
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Posted By Worldmeets.US Dec. 21, 2014 6:52pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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