The country’s first transwoman legislator admitted she was hurt by President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to grant absolute pardon to US Marines Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, who killed her “trans sister” Jennifer Laude in 2014.
“As a human being with a trans experience, hindi ko maiwasang masaktan sa mga nagaganap sa kaso ng aking trans sister na si Jennifer Laude laban kay Joseph Scott Pemberton,” Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman said on Tuesday.
“Mariin kong ipinapahayag ang hindi ko pagsang-ayon sa pagpapalaya kay Joseph Scott Pemberton na may pananagutan sa pagpatay kay Jennifer Laude noong 2014,” she added.
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.
But in its September 1 release order, the Olongapo RTC Branch 74 stated that Pemberton has a “total accumulated time served with entitled of GCTA of 10 years, one month and 10 days, which is more than the 10-year maximum penalty imposed by this court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA).”
The transwoman solon questioned the supposed “special treatment” being given to Pemberton.
Also read: Robredo: Duterte’s pardon of Pemberton unfair, unjust
Transwoman solon hurt by Pemberton’s release
“Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nagkasala sa batas ngunit hindi naman nabigyan ng parehong pagkakataon. Hindi dapat ganito, do we deserve less?” she said.
“Bilang bahagi ng pamahalaan at bilang isang politiko, nauunawaan ko na mayroong mga ganitong negosasyon sa pagitan ng mga bansa ngunit naniniwala ako na dapat panagutan ni Joseph Scott Pemberton ang kanyang krimen sa buong lawak ng batas ng Pilipinas,” Roman, a transwoman said.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor)is now preparing for the release of Pemberton after receiving an absolute pardon from President Rodrigo Duterte.
BuCor spokesman Gabriel Chaclag said they are still waiting for the official copy of Pemberton’s pardon.
Chaclag also assured that Pemberton would go through the normal process for the release of inmates, including pardonees and parolees.