PM expressed its readiness to mobilize its women and LGBT members and coordinate with other groups in a fight to seek justice for Laude. The group had also been active in the Nicole Subic rape case campaign.
According to reports, the US embassy had issued a statement assuring its full cooperation with Philippine law enforcement authorities. The same commitment was expressed by the US government during the hearing of "Nicole" in the Subic rape case, but in the end convicted rapist Daniel Smith was allowed to escape by Philippine authorities in collusion with the US embassy.
"It has been almost three days yet both suspect and probable witnesses remain in the custody of American authorities in Philippines soil," declared PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda. She added that "Similar to our demand during the trial of the Subic rape case, custody of suspect should in the hands of Philippine authorities."
The group insists that nothing justifies Laude's killing. "Being gay, hiding the fact that he is gay or being a prostitute does not make Laude's killing right," Miranda ended.
PM once more called for the repeal of the Visiting Forces Agreement under whose provisions the Balikatan exercises are conducted. "This recent incident again exposes that the VFA does not provide protection for Filipinos whose civil and social rights may be violated by US soldiers and moreover ties the Philippines to the imperialist agenda of the American government," Miranda explained.
She furthered that "We have nothing to gain and more to lose from allowing US soldiers, ships and planes to base in Philippine territory. An independent foreign policy is our best defense against external threats even against China's claims on disputed islands."
Partido Manggagawa (PM)