"Not another Daniel Smith," was the plea of Gabriela Party-list Representative Emmi de Jesus after a transgender named Jenny (Jeffrey Laude) was found dead in a motel in Olongapo City on October 11. Jenny was allegedly killed by a US Marine.
Lance Corporal Daniel Smith was involved in a rape case in 2006 and was initially found guilty. Several civil groups criticized the fact that instead of a regular jail, Smith was detained in the US Embassy in Manila.
In 2009, Smith was released after the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the lower court.
Aside from de Jesus and Gabriela, Kapederasyon LGBT Sectoral Organization also spoke out against the questionable provisions in the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the US. "We call for a thorough investigation and swift justice, and warn the government that we will remain vigilant against efforts to cover-up the facts of the case and give special treatment to the suspected perpetrator who was identified as a United States soldier."
The suspect in Jenny’s murder is a US Marine and is currently in detention. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is now assessing his involvement in the case.
CCTV footage shows Jenny and the suspect together in a bar, and several witnesses confirmed that they were together-including the owner of the motel. After the foreigner left, one of the motel’s staff entered the room to clean and was shocked to find Jenny lifeless inside the bathroom, hunched over the toilet.
According to the initial investigation, Jenny died of asphyxia by drowning. Two used condoms were found in the room, muddling earlier suspicions that the marine killed Jenny in rage after finding out that she was not biologically female.
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Update: An earlier report identified the suspect as a marine, which has been disproven as the investigation progressed. The suspect is Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.