Condemn the killing of Jeffrey Laude!
Scrap the EDCA, VFA and MDT and end US military presence!

Communist Party of the Philippines
October 14, 2014

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in extending profound sympathies to the family of Jeffrey Laude, 26, who was killed last Sunday evening in an Olongapo City lodge while she was with a yet unidentified American soldier.

The CPP condemns the brutal murder of Laude. According to initial reports, her face was forced down the toilet bowl until she drowned. She had lacerations on her head and injuries to her neck. Her body was found at around 11:30pm. Less than an hour earlier, she and some of her friends met a group of US servicemen in a disco house and left a few minutes later for the lodge just across the street. 

Laude was a transgender known as Jennifer Ganda among her peers.

The CPP supports the Filipino people in demanding that the Philippine government immediately assert sovereign authority over the Laude case and demand custody of the American serviceman suspected of having committed the crime.

The CPP said the number of sexual and other crimes committed by US military personnel in Philippine soil are bound to increase with the heightened presence of US soldiers in the country under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which paves the way for US military basing.

Laude's brutal murder amplifies the Filipino people's patriotic demand to scrap the EDCA, the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Mutual Defense Treaty and other unequal military treaties with the US. It amplifies their demand for an immediate pull out all US troops in the country and an end to US military presence in the Philippines that trample on Philippine sovereignty.

Over the past years, the US military has made a mockery of Philippine sovereignty in shielding its personnel who have committed crimes in the Philippines. This practice has been further reinforced by the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement which presumes the authority of the US government and military over their personnel involved in criminal transgressions while in Philippine territory.

The CPP calls on the Filipino people to lend all-out support to the family and friends of Jeffrey Laude in their fight for justice. As in the past, the US military and government will do everything to prevent their personnel from being subjected to Philippine sovereignty.

Recall how the US military used the VFA to prevent US servicemen involved in the November 2005 rape of "Nicole" from being put under Philippine jurisdiction. The American personnel made to stand trial were not placed under Philippine police detention for even a single moment.

Only when found guilty was Lance Corporal Daniel Smith subjected to imprisonment in a special cell which US embassy and military personnel had access to. The American soldier will eventually transferred to the US embassy grounds and eventually whisked out of the country after the US government mounted pressure on the family to compel the victim to recant her testimony and thus overturn the verdict.

Over the past years, several other US military personnel involved in crimes in the Philippines have also been prevented from being subjected to local jurisdiction. American soldier Reggie Lane who shot peasant Buyong-buyong Isnijal on July 24, 2002 was repatriated the day after by the US military and was never subjected to criminal procedure. Also, three US soldiers who participated in Balikatan exercises in Cebu and mauled taxi driver Marcelo Batistil on March 6, 2000 were immediately repatriated to the US.

US personnel in Zamboanga City have also been involved in various cases of public disturbance, sexual violence and others since the headquarters of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) was set up in 2002. Prostitution has become rampant in Zamboanga and has had a resurgence in Olongapo and elsewhere since US warships have been making more frequent dockings in Subic and Manila.