The Philippines has rejected an appeal by a U.S. Marine from New Bedford that it drop a murder case against him in the death of a transgender Filipino woman last year.

A Department of Justice review panel said Tuesday that evidence from prosecutors against Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton showed that he killed Jennifer Laude after picking her up in a bar in Olongapo city in October.

Police say Laude, formerly known as Jeffrey, was found dead with her head inside a toilet bowl in a hotel minutes after Pemberton left the room.

The case has refueled opposition to a military agreement between Manila and Washington that allows U.S. custody over American service members accused of crimes in the Philippines.

Pemberton took part in combat exercises involving thousands of American and Filipino troops.