Philippines: Activists call for custody of US marine suspected of murdering trans woman

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Human rights activists have called on the Philippine government to take into custody a US marine suspected of the murder of a transgender woman.

Earlier today it was reported that the marine, whose identity has not been released, is being held on board the amphibious assault ship Peleliu.

It came after 26-year-old Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck was found dead by strangulation on Saturday night in Olongapo, with her head in the toilet.

According to gulfnews, women’s rights groups have now pledged to hold protests over the matter.

In an interview on Monday,  Professor Roland Simbulan said: “The Philippine government must take custody of the suspected American serviceman. He should remain in the Philippines for his trial in a local court — to ensure justice for his Filipino victim,”

Dindi Tan of the Association of Transgender People in the Philippines (ATP), said: “The victim, Jeffrey Laude, must be given justice. The case must not be swept under the rug, especially because the victim is a transgender.”

The detained marine is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Three other potential witnesses from the same unit have also been detained aboard the ship.

Gabriela Women’s Party representative Emmi De Jesus told President Aquino to act quickly in apprehending the assailant.

She said: “I condemn the heinous barbarity behind the hate crime committed on the defenseless transgender woman involved in the prostitution trade.

“Gabriela maintains that US military basing in communities abetted by EDCA worsens prostitution, trafficking, drugs, and spread of diseases, and Aquino needs to listen to demands to scrap the agreement.”