MANILA - Police in the Philippines filed murder charges on Wednesday against a U.S. Marine over the death of a transgender Filipino he met in a bar outside the former U.S. naval base of Subic Bay. "Based on two witnesses' testimonies, we believe we have a strong case against the U.S. Marine," said Pedrito delos Reyes, police chief of Olongapo City, where the body of Jennifer Laude, 26, was found in a hotel room on Saturday.
U.S. authorities said the Marine was being held aboard the USS Peleliu, an amphibious assault ship, in Subic Bay. Three other individuals were also held as potential witnesses. "I know the matter has the potential to charge the atmosphere with regards to the relationship between us and the Philippine government, and I hope it doesn’t damage it because we have a very close relationship," Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos said in Washington, calling the case a “huge tragedy.”