LGBT+ PROTEST AGAINST EARLY RELEASE OF PEMBERTON / SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
Members of LGBT+ group stage a protest outside of Department of Justice in Manila to denounce the early release of US Marines Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton through Good Conduct Time Allowance. Pemberton was convicted of homicide on Dec. 1, 2015, for killing transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014. He was sentenced to suffer 6 to 10 years imprisonment.
INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES
After the controversial announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to pardon US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, Sen. Imee Marcos expressed her gratitude to the president for “laying the issue to rest.” According to her, the move is to “prevent any future discordant issues that opposition politicians would try to exploit.”
“Mr. Pemberton came to our country as part of the traditional friendly military exercises, the Balikatan, between our two countries. It was very unfortunate that this had to happen,” Marcos said. “However, the Philippines took jurisdiction over the case as mandated by the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement). Justice has been served with the Philippine judicial system functioning in accordance with its constitutional duties.”
According to BBC, Jennifer Laude and Pemberton met at a bar in Olongapo City back in 2014. The US marine officer was on leave from the Balikatan. The following day, Laude was found dead in the hotel room she checked in with Pemberton. Police reports show that she was spotted slumped on the toilet and was “apparently strangled.”
The US marine admitted in court that he attacked Laude after finding out that the latter was a trans woman. He claimed that Laude was still alive when he left the room.
Earlier today, Sen. Marcos urged Pres. Duterte to certify the pushing of anti-discriminatory laws as urgent. “The outcry against Pemberton’s pardon despite the horrific killing of transgender Jennifer Laude will never be fully appeased until the bills on SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) are passed by Congress and signed into law,” Marcos said.
ICYDK, Marcos previously filed her own version of the SOGIE bill back in 2019. Prior to that, the senator has expressed concern about same-sex marriage as it is too “complicated.”