HomeLGBTQCourt orders release of Marine in killing of Filipina

Court orders release of Marine in killing of Filipina

Joseph Pemberton and Jennifer Laude Photos from Olongapo City Police

Family, friends, and thousands worldwide are outraged over the order by a Filipino court Thursday that Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton be released early from prison for “good behavior”, Inside Edition reports.

This comes after his 2015 sentence of 10 years for the brutal murder of Jennifer Laude, a transgender Filipina. Pemberton has served only 6 years behind bars.

According to Metro, Pemberton had appealed to the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court for an even shorter sentence, and the courts deemed his “good behavior” equivalent to “the years remaining in his sentence — a ‘good conduct time allowance.'”

However, Philippine officials confirmed Pemberton could not be released until the Laude family’s appeal is heard. The government is also preparing a separate appeal.

The Washington Post reports that LGBTQ and human rights advocates blasted the court’s order calling it proof of “foreign influence over the former U.S. colony” and “an injustice against transgender people.”

As this issue reopens the discussion on present-day influences of colonial powers still held over the Philippines, Virginia Suarez, the Laude family’s lawyer, asserts:

Justice for Jennifer Laude is justice for the entire Filipino people.

“Pemberton’s release is two-pronged,” the Filipino queer group, Bahaghari, wrote on Facebook. “Firstly, it represents the unfettered violence and injustice the LGBTQ+ community continues to face. Moreover, it symbolizes the Philippine government’s continued submission to US imperialism. Justice for Jennifer cannot exist without both being decisively ended.”

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