What is the Uncovering Asia conference?

UNCOVERING ASIA is the first Asian investigative journalism conference. The event will bring together top investigative reporters, data journalists, and media law and security experts from across Asia and around the world in Manila on November 22-24, 2014.

The conference is hosted by the Global Investigative Journalism Network, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, with additional support from the Open Society Foundations and more than a half-dozen co-sponsors.

The conference will also mark two important occasions: a special reception honoring the 25th anniversary of the pioneering Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and a candlelight assembly to commemorate the UN-designated International Day to End Impunity on Nov. 23.

It will be held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel, Pasig City.

For attendees based outside the Philippines, please register with GIJN here.

For attendees based in the Philippines, click the image below to download the registration form.

Registration Form

FREEDOM of information advocates will meet with Speaker Feliciano Belmonte on Monday, October 27, at 1:30 p.m. at the House of Representatives to submit additional signatures of more than 35,000 individuals who have expressed support for the passage of a Freedom of Information law.

They will be led by the Right to Know Right Now! Coalition. The additional signatures were gathered during the Tanglaw Run of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines community held on October 4, 2014.

Why should you support the FOI? Watch the video of the townhall meeting last July 1, 2014.

The additional signatures will be added to the more than 38,000 submitted to Presidential spokesman, Sec. Edwin Lacierda, last July 25.

Do you want to sign the petition? Just click on the photo below to be redirected to the site.

pass the foi

 

October 24, 2014 · Posted in: General

A love affair with numbers

By Cong B. Corrales

STRONG with words, weak with numbers. That, for the longest time, seems to be the stereotype of journalists.

As PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas says in jest, most reporters take up journalism because it only has one Math subject for the entire course. However, Mangahas always counters this by saying that it is important for journalists to learn to appreciate what stories they could mine behind the numbers. PCIJ believes that the biggest and most strategic problems that confront the country are all writ large in numbers, thus the organization’s efforts in promoting numeracy among journalists and citizen media.

This, and more, was what the participating journalists and bloggers discussed during the last leg of PCIJ’s training seminar series on Governance by the Numbers: Advanced Investigative Reporting and Numeracy. The four-day seminar was attended by reporters, newsroom supervisors and managers, and bloggers from TV, print, and online media organizations based in Metro Manila.

Participating media organizations included 9TV (formerly Solar TV), ABS-CBN 2, ABS-CBN News Online, Blogwatch, Bulatlat.com, DWIZ 882, GMA 7, GMA News TV, GMA News Research, Far East Broadcasting Company-DZAS, Inquirer.net, The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, The Philippine Star, The Manila Times, and RMN-DZXL.

PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas on investigative reporting:

PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas shows Metro Manila-based journalists and citizen media how documents and data connect.

At least 22 participants attended the first half of the seminar last September 17 and 18 at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City. The third and fourth days of the seminar had to be postponed to October 19 and 20 though, because Typhoon Mario pummeled Northern Luzon and its downpour flooded most parts of the National Capital Region.

The seminar series aimed to scale up the investigative reporting skills of journalists, citizen media, and bloggers throughout the country in sourcing, analyzing, and correlating documents, numbers, and information. “Hindi siya special siopao, but you just really need patience in analysing the meaning behind the numbers; the meaning and logic of the data,” said Mangahas.
SOME OF THE participants listen to PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas | Photo by Cong B. Corrales

SEMINAR PARTICIPANTS listen to PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas | Photo by Cong B. Corrales

The seminar was divided into three themes: investigating public funds, investigating public officials, and organizing the story and reporting numbers. The US-based nonprofit National Endowment for Democracy provided grant support for the seminar series.

Each of the themes in the seminar had experts from the government, legal profession, academe, and fraud examiners as resource speakers.

To provide the framework for the entire seminar, PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas discussed the concepts of Freedom of Information, Freedom of Expression, and Data Journalism, and how they all relate to each other and to the practice of journalism in the country.

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Managahas was followed by lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno, De La Salle University College of Law Founding Dean and Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) National Chair, who briefed the participants about their legal rights in their practice of journalism. Diokno also underscored the responsibilities attached to such rights.

In the “investigating public funds” theme, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Raul C. Asis walked participants through the life cycle of a public works project. He also gave them tips on how they can identify red flags and discussed how corruption could start “even at the design phase of any given project.” Asis assured participants though, that the public works department has been installing measures to weed out corrupt practices in the agency, and said that “integrity breeds excellence.”
Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Still under the theme of investigating public funds, Commission on Audit (COA) Director Cora Lea A. Dela Cruz enumerated the different types of audit that the COA does. She also explained key audit terms in layman’s language, and explained how COA auditors interpret the “observations” they attach to each of the types of audit.

Juan Carlos “Juancho” B. Robles, a partner at private auditing firm Punongbayan & Araullo and a director of the Philippine chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, taught the participants how to spot red flags in financial statements that could possibly involve fraud, as well as the elements of fraud. Robles also presented the possible fraud schemes in the private and public sectors, such as bid rigging and kickbacks, deliberate mismanagement, and conflicts of interest.
Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

He also introduced the participants to the Beneish Fraud Ratio, which was developed by Indiana University accounting professor Messod Daniel Beneish, Ph.D. Beneish devised analysis ratios for identifying possible financial statement frauds.

Roel R. Landingin, Manila correspondent for the Financial Times of London and PCIJ Fellow, — in his session “By the Numbers: Examples of Using Data to Investigate Public Funds” — stressed that the driving force behind the pursuit of investigative reports should be the journalist’s interest and motivation to write the story.
DSC_1618

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Landingin, who won the Jaime V. Ongpin Award for Investigative Journalism in 2008 and 2009 for his reports on corruption in public infrastructure projects and the mismanagement of foreign aid, encouraged the participants to “learn by doing.” He added that numbers and datasets could be used to question the policy assumptions of government projects. He also encouraged the participants to maximize the data sets that are readily available online, in scaling up their stories on governance. This, he said, will even help in advancing genuine transparency and accountability in government.

“Asking for more data is useless if we do not scale up in analysing these data sets,” he said.
Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Landingin illustrated his point by making an analogy between a company’s balance sheet to Instagram, and between an income statement with YouTube: “(A) Balance Sheet is like Instagram in that it depicts a picture of a company’s financial position at any given time. (While the) Income Statement is like YouTube because it is where you see the movement of the company’s money,” said Landingin.

PCIJ Training Director Che de los Reyes, for her part, demonstrated how journalists can handle big data sets by using spreadsheets. She led practice sessions on cleaning data and pivoting big data sets. De los Reyes also taught the participants how they could mine the i-View platform of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by doing corporate search of publicly listed companies, non-government organizations, and foundations.
Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

On the theme “investigating public officials,” PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas told participants that investigating public officials is key in finding out unexplained wealth, conflicts of interest, and the use, abuse and misuse of public funds. It also helps in understanding the outcomes of government policies and programs.

“Corruption is not a victimless crime. There are basic services foregone because of corruption,” said Mangahas. She demonstrated how journalists could mine public documents on government officials, such as the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (SOCE), and corporate records from the SEC.
Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

She also briefed the participants on how they could access, read, and interpret the SALN as it is a mine of what she called ‘defining data,’ such as the Tax Identification Number (TIN), real and personal properties, liabilities, and social networks. Mangahas also discussed the SOCE that candidates and political parties file with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and how journalists could derive data from the SOCE and SALN, and corroborate these with data and information from corporate records. By connecting these documents, Mangahas explained, the reporter could map the backward and forward links of the investigative report that he is writing.

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

Photo by Cong B. Corrales

The blunders of a general

ON WEDNESDAY, the Commission on Appointments conducted a hearing to confirm Army Col. Medardo Geslani’s promotion to brigadier general. However, Maguindanao Representative Zahid Mangudadatu also questioned the promotion. The congressman is the brother of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Toto Mangudadatu whose wife and other relatives were among those killed in the Ampatuan massacre.

What exactly did Geslani fail to do?

It is a fact that, before the convoy of now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu set out on its ill-fated journey to Shariff Aguak to file his certificate of candidacy, Geslani and his former commanding officer, then Major General Alfredo Cayton, were among those whose help had been sought to provide security because of the very serious threats of violence that had already been floating about days before. These requests were ignored,” NUJP chair Rowena Paraan said.

It can be recalled that in the afternoon of January 19, 2010, widows and families of 13 journalists killed in the Ampatuan massacre filed criminal and administrative charges against then Maj. Gen. Alfredo Cayton and Col. Medardo Geslani before the Office of the Ombudsman.

REPORTERS in the Philippines light candles during a commemoration for the Ampatuan Massacre, the single deadliest attack on journalists in the world. Thirty-two media workers and reporters were murdered in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

REPORTERS in the Philippines light candles during a commemoration for the Ampatuan Massacre, the single deadliest attack on journalists in the world. Thirty-two media workers and reporters were murdered in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

One of the complainants, Myrna Reblando had alleged that Cayton, then chief of the 6th Infantry Division, was informed by her husband—Alejandro—about their coverage of the filing of Esmael Toto Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for governor in the province. But the Cayton assured Alejandro that there was “no threat from the ground.” The Army’s 6th Infantry Division has jurisdiction over Maguindanao.

An Army internal investigation, however, had absolved Cayton and Geslani of any responsibility in the massacre while a subsequent investigation of the Ombudsman also cleared Geslani. Cayton was also promoted to lieutenant general and has since retired from military service.

InterAksyon.com quoted Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato on June 24, 2014 as saying that there is no legal impediment to Geslani’s promotion to brigadier general.

“All of the Army’s findings were forwarded to them (Ombudsman), then the Ombudsman conducted their own investigation. No legal impediment turned up in his case. It’s the Ombudsman that cleared him. You cannot be promoted without getting the Ombudsman’s clearance,” InterAksyon quoted Detoyato as saying.

Notwithstanding, Paraan insisted that the claims of Cayton and Geslani claims that they had no idea that something could go wrong with the Mangudadatu’s convoy is “nothing but a brazen lie.”

Paraan said that at least three days before the massacre, the provincial police of Maguindanao had set up checkpoints on the highway through which the convoy was expected to pass.

For their part, military officials had confirmed receiving information of the sightings of armed men believed to have been part of those who massacred the victims. But upon inspection the armed men turned out to members of the Civilian Volunteer Organization (CVO) and that the checkpoints appeared to be legitimate and that the military do not have jurisdiction over the CVOs since they were civilian police volunteers.

Surely, the vaunted intelligence network that the military never fails to boast of would have known of this,” she said.

She also pointed out that about two months before the massacre, a convoy of 50 journalists covering the mass evacuations caused by the fighting in Maguindanao at the time were summarily detained at a military outpost in the province. When they asked why they were being prevented from traveling freely and performing their jobs, the soldiers told them they were under orders of Geslani to stop “specifically the media.”

Officers such as Geslani are not only a disgrace to the service and their uniform but are clearly a threat to our freedoms,” said Paraan.

Trick or treat? Army officials treated by CA as Halloween nears
By Julius D. Mariveles and Cong B. Corrales

“SCARY.” “Dismaying.” “Disappointing.” “A threat to our freedoms.”

Reactions flew hard and fast yesterday after the Commission on Appointments confirmed the promotion of two military officials who were commanding Army ground units when the Ampatuan Massacre happened on November 23, 2009 in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.

“What scares me most is that his promotion as a one-star general means he can be given a command, the logistics of which may be accessible to the accused,” lawyer Prima Quinsayas told the PCIJ after the CA confirmed the promotions of Brig. Gen. Medardo Geslani and Col. Rolando Nerona.

NORMA MERISCO, mother to a murdered son, weeps as she nears the gravesite where her son, Rey, was buried along with the other victims last November 23, 2009. This photo was taken during the first year commemoration last November 23, 2010 | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

NORMA MERISCO, mother to a murdered son, weeps as she nears the gravesite where her son, Rey, was buried along with the other victims last November 23, 2009. This photo was taken during the first year commemoration last November 23, 2010 | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

Geslani headed the Army’s 601st Brigade while Nerona commanded the 46th Infantry Battalion when the massacre took place.

Fifty-eight people were killed, 32 of them journalists and media workers, when paramilitary men and armed goons allegedly slew them allegedly upon orders of the Ampatuan family in the village of Masalay, Ampatuan town.

“According to witnesses, Geslani was one of the Army officers very close to the Ampatuan patriarch,” Quinsayas added as she pointed out that the two were even listed as witnesses for the three principal accused – Andal Ampatuan, Sr. and his sons, Andal, Jr., and Zaldy.

WATCH THIS VIDEO OF THE AUGUST 6 NEWS CONFERENCE OF SOME OF THE RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS

Rowena Paraan, national chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, said the process of the CA in confirming the promotion of the two speaks something about the way alleged failures by military officials are being treated.

“There was no effort to ask the families of the victims and groups opposing their promotion; they were not even asked to attend the hearings to express their side,” Paraan said.

Melinda Quintos de Jesus, executive director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, said they did not send out any formal opposition to the CA but tried to reach out to some of its members expressing their stand.

“It’s too disappointing,” she said shortly after learning of the CA decision yesterday afternoon. “I don’t know how they could consider those kind of failures in the light of such cases that reflect on the fulture of impunity.”

Pin

She adds, however, that she was not “terribly surprised because many of these things are decided by many considerations in the political arena.”

‘No more hope left for this government’

Even relatives of the victims expressed dismay at the CA decision, saying that they were not even invited to the hearings nor were they asked about their views over the promotion of the two officials.

“This government is so unfair. There is no justice. Only those who are in power or allied with those in power have justice in this government. I think there is no more hope left for this government,” Catherine Nuñez, mother of slain UNTV reporter Victor Nuñez, told PCIJ in the vernacular.

“We are dismayed,” Emily Lopez, president of the Justice Now Movement, said in Filipino.

“Does the CA investigate the background of people who are about to be promoted? Weren’t they supposed to be held responsible for their failure to act?” she asked.

Families13

Dabet Panelo, NUJP Media Safety Office coordinator, said Geslani pointed to the PNP as the one supposedly responsible for securing the victims.

Panelo, who attended the CA hearing, said Geslani explained to the members that the Army cannot simply step in to attend to “election-related” matters especially during the election period.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, on the other hand, blamed former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro whom he said had “prior knowledge” about plans to kill then Buluan town vice-mayor and now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.

Ric Cachuela, chair of an association of families of the Ampatuan Massacre victims, during a news conference in General Santos City on the first year commemoration of the incident | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

Ric Cachuela, chair of an association of families of the Ampatuan Massacre victims, during a news conference in General Santos City on the first year commemoration of the incident | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

The victims were part of a convoy about to deliver the certificate of candidacy of Mangudadatu to an office of the Commission on Elections.

The incident, considered as the single deadliest attack on journalists across the world, is now being commemorated on the same day the International Day to End Impunity is being marked. The massacre date has been chosen by the International Freedom Exchange to draw attention to the problem of impunity as a major obstacle in freedom of expression.

The murder case is now being heard before Regional Trial Court Branch 221 in Quezon City by Judge Jocelyn Reyes-Solis. Hounded by technical and procedural delays, the case is dragging on to its fifth year.

International media groups slam jailing

REPORTERS Without Borders said in a statement that the imposition of a two-year jail sentences of a court in the Rangoon suburb of Padeban, Burma, on each of the five members of the weekly Bi Mon Te Nay’s staff, on October 16, this year was “out of all proportion and constitutes a serious violation of media freedom.”

“It shows that Burma’s current authorities have no intention of abandoning the former military government’s repressive legislation and using the new legislation, which shows more respect for freedom of information,” Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia desk said in an emailed statement, Wednesday.

Thursday last week, the Pabedan Township Court in Rangoon ruled that Bi Mon Te Nay reporter Kyaw Zaw Hein, editors Win Tin and Aung Thant, and publishers Yin Min Tun and Kyaw Min Khaing violated the country’s criminal code Article 505(b)—an anti-state provision that broadly bars defamation of the state, a report by The Irrawaddy reads.

The defamation charges were based on a front-page story of Bi Mon Te Nay on July 7 that reported an activist group’s statement which claimed that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic group leaders had formed an interim government to replace Burmese President Thein Sein.

Reporters Without Borders quoted Kyaw Zaw Hein as saying at the end of the trial: “this is totally unfair and if the country wants to change into a democracy, it needs press freedom.” The group added that the journalists’ legal counsels will appeal the decision.

Founded as Reporters Sans Frontieres in Montpellier, France, in 1985, the organization is registered as a non-profit organization in France since 1995 and holds a consultant status at the United Nations and UNESCO. It currently covers news in five continents through its network of over 150 correspondents in 10 offices and sections worldwide.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on the other hand, also demanded the immediate release of the five journalists.

“How many journalists must be imprisoned before the international community recognizes that Burmese President Thein Sein’s democratic reform program is a complete and utter sham,” CPJ Southeast Asia representative Shawn Crispin said.

A research by CPJ shows that after a period of liberalization in 2012—where at least 12 imprisoned journalists were released and prior restraint on newspapers halted—the Thein Sein administration has backslided in resuming the previous junta’s suppressive policies towards the press.

It can be recalled that on July 10, this year, a Burmese court sentenced the four journalists and its chief executive officer of an independent news journal Unity to 10 years of hard labor in prison for reporting on a secretive military installation in Burma’s central Magwe region.

Founded in 1981 by a group of American correspondents, the CPJ is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide.

October 22, 2014 · Posted in: General, In the News

The Laude case on Facebook

WHILE the preliminary investigation into the death of Jennifer Laude started only yesterday, October 21, in the Philippines, a separate virtual trial seems to have unfolded before the bar of public opinion on Facebook.

Four Facebook pages have already been upped after Laude was killed on Oct. 11 allegedly by a member of the United States Marine Corps, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.

These are the community page Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck,

Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck

Justice for Jennifer Laude,

Justice for Jennifer Laude

and the Jennifer Laude Movement,

Jennifer Laude Movement

and Support For Joseph Scott Pemberton.

Support for Pemberton

The Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck page has drawn 1,750 likes since it was launched last October 15. The Jennifer Laude Movement page has 51 likes since October 18, while the Justice for Jennifer Laude has 72 follows. It is also the page that has the most updates compared to the other two pages.

The page for Pemberton on the other hand, has 566 likes as of October 22. It is described by its creator as a page “for those people who care about the case between laude and pemberton..at the same time PH and U.S.A…”

 

BITTEN, beaten, and drowned. These, thus far, are the only facts in the death of Jennifer Laude. These are the only facts that the autopsy on her dead body showed. Nothing more.

There are more questions than answers now as the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office started the preliminary investigation on the death of Laude yesterday, October 21, in the Philippines. The suspect, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton of the United States Marine Corps, did not show up.

THE SUSPECT: US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton | Photo from Pemberton's Facebook page

THE SUSPECT: US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton | Photo from Pemberton’s Facebook page

Three colleagues of Pemberton — Privates First Class Daniel Fabian Pulido, Jairn Michael Rose, and Benett Erik Dahl — recalled the events on the night of October 11 when Laude was found dead inside an inn in Olongapo City.

Pulido said he, Dahl, and Rose “went to a hotel for a boom boom” and after that, a “questionable-looking female” approached them and said: “your friend killed my friend.”

READ MORE ON ‘Your friend killed my friend’: What Pemberton’s Marine pals recall about night of Laude killing

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THE VICTIM: Jennifer Laude with her fiance, Marc Sueselbeck. They were supposed to be married in Thailand in 2015 | Photo from Justice for Jennifer Laude Facebook page.

Lawyer Rowena Garcia, who represented Pemberton, said the US Marine was not compelled by the prosecutor’s subpoena to attend the preliminary investigation. It required him to only submit a counter-affidavit until October 27.

READ MORE ON Pemberton no-show at preliminary investigation for Laude slay

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the American government is not seeking any special privileges in its defense arrangement with the Philippines, and is letting the rule of law decide the fate of military personnel and citizens involved in infractions, philstar.com reported.

READ MORE ON: “Rule of law must be upheld – Kerry”

Even as the case is under investigation, an agency under the Office of the President of the Philippines, joined mounting calls for justice for Laude’s death.

In an emailed statement, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) strongly condemned the killing of Laude, lamenting the violence that had been committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The commission reiterated that “no one deserves to die in such tragic and violent way, most especially, no one deserves to be violated, harassed, and murdered for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transexual (LGBT).”

“The killing of Jennifer Laude is a clear manifestation of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and perpetrators must be held accountable and punished for such vicious acts,” the PCW statement reads in part.

The PCW is the primary policy-making and coordinating body on women and gender equality concerns. As the oversight body on women’s concern, the PCW leads in advocating for women’s empowerment and gender equality.

The PCW added that human rights and freedoms must be enjoyed by all, without distinction as to age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, social status or political affiliation and to mobilize resources in order to curb the acts of discrimination and the effects thereof.

“The Commission is one with the nation in seeking justice for Laude and joins the call for a speedy, honest, and fair trial,” the PCW statement continues.

THE INVESTIGATION: WHO ARE INVOLVED?

THE PROSECUTORS
Head: Olongapo City Prosecutor Emilie Fe Delos Santos
Members: Assistant City Prosecutors Laurence Taliping, Rommel Baligod,
and Ria Niña Susuko, and State Prosecutor Nolibien Quiambao

THE LAWYERS
Harry Roque, counsel for the Laude family
Rowena Garcia, counsel for Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton

Meanwhile, women’s group Gabriela also reiterated their call for justice for Laude by holding a protest action in front of the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court on Tuesday afternoon.

In a separate statement, Tuesday, Gabriela Secretary General Joms Salvador said that their protest action is too see whether Laude murder suspect US Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton will appear before the court during the preliminary investigation and also to see if the US will recognize Philippine jurisdiction over the murder case.

“We dare the US to show Pemberton to the Filipino people by bringing him to the hearing,” said Salvador.

Salvador added that Pemberton’s appearance during the preliminary investigation “is a crucial litmus test” on the US’ claim that they will cooperate with the Philippines in Laude’s case.

“Talk is cheap and only actions matter. If the US truly respects our country as a partner, as it would like as to believe, it would compel Pemberton to appear, and even surrender him to Philippine authorities for custody, even without the Department of Foreign Affairs’ formal request,” she said.

In the same statement, Gabriela announced plans to mount protest actions for the week, which will culminate on Friday when Laude’s body will be cremated. On that day, Salvador said, all of Gabrel’s chapters across the country and abroad will hold a Global Day of Action to “demand justice for (Laude) as we also demand justice for the entire Filipino nation whose sovereignty and security are imperiled by US presence in the country.”

The Olongapo City Police filed murder charges against Pemberton at the Olongapo City State Prosecutor’s office on October 15. On Wednesday morning, Oct. 22, Pemberton was flown by a US chopper to Camp Aguinaldo, headquarters of the Philippine Armed Forces for detention at a makeshift detention facility.

Family members and lawyers of Laude tried to see Pemberton in the afternoon but were denied entry to his quarters. — With a report from Cong B. Corrales