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Leftist solon: Slay of transgender woman worse than Nicole rape case

A militant lawmaker who has been vocal about his opposition to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) on Monday called the alleged involvement of a United States Marine in the killing of a transgender woman on Saturday as a controversy “much worse” than the Subic rape case in 2005.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares said the killing of Jeffrey Laude should prompt the Philippine government to junk its bilateral military treaty with the US.
“This is much worse than the case of Nicole in the Subic rape case because it now resulted in the death of our compatriot. This case once again highlights the one-sidedness of the VFA,” Colmenares said in a text message.
A US serviceman who participated in the Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) between Philippine and American troops earlier this month has been tagged as a "possible suspect" in Laude’s death, the US embassy said in a statement.
The victim was found dead inside the Celzone Lodge in Barangay East Tapinac on Saturday night. She was reportedly last seen with a someone who looked like a foreigner.
Initial investigation by the police showed Laude died by asphyxiation by drowning. 
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Major General Domingo Tutaan said the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) and the VFA Commission would investigate the killing.
Nicole is the alias of the woman who was allegedly raped in Subic in 2005.

Daniel Smith, one of the servicemen implicated in the incident, was convicted by a Makati City court in December 2006. He was transferred from the Makati jail to the US Embassy after he was convicted.
Smith was acquitted by the Court of Appeals in April 2009 and ordered his immediate release.

A month before his acquittal, the victim executed a sworn statement expressing her doubts on whether she was actually raped.

The US soldier left the country immediately following the CA’s decision.
Mobilize PHL authorities
Colmenares urged the Philippine government to assert jurisdiction over the suspect if he was found to be an American serviceman. The foreign suspect should be detained in a local jail, he said.
“The Aquino government should not wait for another victim,” he said.
Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said he is planning to conduct a fact-finding mission in Olongapo City soon to obtain more information about Laude’s death.
“We’ll visit the family of Jeffrey and talk to officials of SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority) and the local government,” he said in a text message.
Ridon said he will also file a resolution within the week urging Congress to investigate the incident. 
In a statement, Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Emmi De Jesus called on President Benigno Aquino III to swiftly mobilize Philippine authorities to find and arrest Laude’s killer.
“Gabriela sides with the request of Marilou, sister of victim Jeffrey Laude, for the government to stop the departure of the warships docked in Subic Bay. Like those who have been orphaned [by Laude’s] loss, we demand for the Aquino government to take action to ensure the killer won’t be able to escape,” she said. —NB, GMA News