LGBTQI groups called President Rodrigo Duterte as “misogynistic and transphobic” after he granted convict US Marine Corps Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton an absolute pardon.
“His so-called support for the LGBTQI community is just mere posturing and exposes the truth about Duterte and his legacy—that as a leader, he is nothing but unjust, misogynistic, and transphobic,” the LGBTQI organizations said in a Tuesday unity statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised briefing that Pemberton is not at fault if the Philippine authorities were not able to monitor his behavior while he was in jail, adding the US soldier was not treated fairly.
Pemberton was sentenced to six to ten years in prison for homicide in connection with the killing of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.
However, the organization insisted that Pemberton had only spent 5 years and 10 months of his 10-year jail sentence in Camp Aguinaldo.
“Pemberton should have served time in the National Bilibid Prison, and the President could have granted a presidential pardon to a Filipino instead of an American,” the group said.
The organization added the pardon granted to Pemberton showed how the government uses the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize foreign interests, which causes injustice and suffering to Filipinos.
They added the pardon sends a message to the public that a transgender woman’s life does not matter and that it is “open season” for discriminating and committing crimes against transgender people.
Pemberton’s pardon also means American soldiers could continue to get away with the crimes they did in the Philippines, the organization added.
“His government never served our interests nor protected our rights and lives, and today proves that only a murderer can empathize with another murderer,” the groups said.
Duterte is ‘misogynistic, transphobic’ – LGBTQI groups
LGBTQI Groups who signed the unity statement were:
- Call Her Ganda Documentary
- LakanBini Advocates Pilipinas, Inc.
- Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas
- Pioneer Filipino Transgender Men Movement
- Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP Kababaihan, Inc.)
- Transman Equality and Awareness Movement (TEAM)
- Lagablab LGBT Network
- Metro Manila Pride
- Philippine Anti-Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders (PANTAY)
- UP Babaylan
- Rainbow Rights Philippines
- Babaylanes, Inc.
- PUP Kasarianlan
- BulSU Bahaghari
- Benilde Hive
- TUP DUGONG BUGHAW
- Gayon Albay LGBT Org., Inc.
- True Colors Coalition (TCC)
- Bicol University – MAGENTA
- KAIBA Academic Collective
- UP Babaylan – Baguio Chapter
- APC Bahaghari
- Queer Quezon
- GALANG Philippines, Inc.
- Camp Queer
- UP Babaylan – Clark Chapter
- Tribu Duag
- LGBTQ+ Partylist
- Youth Voices Count, Inc.
- Love Is All We Need
- Women and Gender Institute
- Iloilo Pride Team
- Migrante Europe
- Pinay sa Holland
- GABRIELA Germany