SC denies Laude family’s bid to intervene vs. EDCA

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

MANILA, Nov. 18 (PNA) — The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by the family of slain Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude seeking to intervene in the case of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Laude was allegedly killed by United States Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton in Olongapo City last October 11.

”The SC, in its en banc session, today November 18, 2014 denied the bid of the Laude Family (Julita, Michelle and Marilou, all surnamed Laude) to intervene in the consolidated cases challenging the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)” SC Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te said in an advisory sent to the Philippines News Agency (PNA).

The motion to admit petition in intervention and the proposed petition for intervention were filed Monday.

In a 10-page petition-in-intervention, the Laude family said that as taxpayers and family of Jeffrey Laude alias “Jennifer”, who was allegedly killed by a United States Marine, they should be allowed to be part of the petitioners against EDCA.

The Laude family also asked the SC to declare as “illegal” the creation of EDCA allegedly because it is violative of Section 25, Article 18 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution for disregarding the country’s sovereignty.

Former Senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tanada, former University of the Philippines (UP) president Francisco Nemenzo, Jr., among others, earlier said that the government allegedly abused its power when it signed in the EDCA which is considered as “disadvantageous to the country’s national interest.”

They also said that aside from signing the EDCA without the “concurrence” of the Congress, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had no jurisdiction to sign and enter into the agreement.

The consolidated cases challenging the EDCA are set for oral arguments before the SC at 2 p.m. Tuesday. (PNA)