AFP mulls complaint vs Laude lawyer
MANILA, Philippines – Lawyer Harry Roque may face a formal complaint before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) based on his “inappropriate actions” inside Camp Aguinaldo last week, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday, October 29.
Lt Gen Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr., chief of staff of the AFP, is “strongly considering” this option “if warranted,” a Philippine military statement said.
“He is a brilliant lawyer who should be an epitome of discipline and respect for law and order. We expect the IBP to take appropriate sanctions (like disbarment),” the statement added. “We don’t want him to misbehave inside military camps and subject our soldiers to his tirades again.”
Last Monday, October 27, the military's Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO) began investigating how Roque, Marc Sueselbeck and the family of slain transgender Filipino woman Jennifer Laude were able to enter the camp’s restricted areas last week.
Roque argued earlier that the AFP was merely “deflecting the issue of Jennifer’s murder and the accountability of the US serviceman.” He's referring to US Marine Pfc John Scott Pemberton, who is accused of killing Laude after spending the night with her in a lodge in Olongapo City on October 11.
The AFP also stood by its stand that Sueselbeck, Laude's fiance, violated camp rules and regulations. (READ: 'Paano nilabag ni Sueselbeck ang batas')
Sueselbeck climbed over a fence at the military camp and shoved a soldier where Pemberton is currently detained.
“His apologies are accepted but he should still be held accountable,” the AFP said.
The AFP filed a motion to declare Sueselbeck an “undesirable alien,” which, in effect, will bar him from entering the Philippines. But Catapang decided not to file any criminal case against Sueselbeck so that he may be allowed to leave the Philippines.
“This incident should serve as a strong warning to every visitor that military camp rules and regulations, especially our security protocols must be observed at all times during their visit,” the AFP added. – Rappler.com