Pemberton’s appeal ‘insulting,’ says LGBT group
A group of gays, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) has condemned the move of US Marine lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton seeking to reverse his conviction in the killing of Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, including bail and reduction of his six- to 12-year jail term.
Bahagri LGBT organization said the omnibus motion filed by Pemberton’s lawyers last Dec. 16 was an injustice and “insult” to those who have fought for the cause of Laude.
“Pemberton’s appeal for bail and a shorter jail term must be refused by the court! His conviction for homicide fell short of the justice that everyone had fought for to start with, and this absurd appeal is an insult to those who have stood up for that cause,” Bahaghari said in a statement.
“Pemberton has not even begun to suffer his jail term yet. He continues to enjoy special treatment in a US-controlled facility, as the Embassy of the United States, in collusion with the Aquino government, continues to refuse his imprisonment in a Philippine facility,” it added.
Pemberton’s camp filed an 80-page omnibus motion last December, asking the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 for a “partial reconsideration” and clarification of their decision, noting that Laude’s death, “as established by trial evidence,” was “doubtful.”
The court ruled that Pemberton, who was charged with murder, was guilty of the lesser offense of homicide for Laude’s death.
The US Marine was detained at a facility in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Bahaghari also reiterated its opposition to the Philippine government’s “unequal agreements” with the United States, including the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, the legality of which was upheld by the Supreme Court.
“We also reiterate our call for the junking of the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which are both unequal agreements that trample on the country’s sovereignty and give American soldiers unacceptable privileges,” the group said. IDL
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