Laude family seeks DNA test for Pemberton
Laude family seeks DNA test for Pemberton
The family of slain transgender Jennifer Laude says a DNA test would establish the presence of US Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton at the scene of the crime

MANILA, Philippines – The family of slain transgender Filipino Jennifer Laude has asked the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office to compel the suspect in the murder case to submit himself for fingerprinting and a buccal swab at the clarificatory hearing on November 5.

In a 9-page omnibus motion dated October 21, Marilou Laude, the victim’s sister, asked  Olongapo City Chief Prosecutor Emelie Fe Delos Santos to issue a subpoena to compel Pemberton to appear at the hearing, so that authorities can obtain his fingerprints and take buccal swabs from his mouth for DNA testing.

The family said they were prompted to file the motion since Pemberton has yet to be subjected to standard booking procedures nearly two weeks after the incident.

“PFC Pemberton has yet to undergo standard booking procedures, so that police investigators have not been able to lift fingerprints from him – a procedure that is de riguer for police investigations across many jurisdictions around the world. This is scandalous, to say the least,” the motion stated.

The family said the DNA test would establish the presence of Pemberton in the crime scene – a room in Celzone Lodge in Olongapo City were Laude was found dead on October 11.

That family said that while authorities have taken tissue samples from the victim, and other physical evidence such as two used condoms, and blood and urine samples that are being tested by the PNP Crime Laboratory in Olongapo city, no samples have been obtained from the suspect, so far.

“By and large, any such testing would be useless without corresponding samples taken from respondent also being subjected to the same DNA testing. In other words, in this case, there is a need to take ‘reference samples,’ from respondent for matching with the ‘evidence sample’ already gathered from the victim,” the motion said.

A buccal swab is a process in which tissue samples are taken from the inner side of a person’s cheek.

In the motion, the Laude family asked Delos Santos to direct the Philippine National Police to designate a forensic expert who will lift the fingerprints from Pemberton.

The motion was filed a day after Pemberton was moved to a detention facility inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City from the USS Peleliu in Subic, Zambales. 

On Tuesday, the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office held the first preliminary hearing on the case, following the murder complaint filed by the Laude family against Pemberton. –

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