Showbiz figures join critics in denouncing absolute pardon of Pemberton
MANILA, Philippines — Various showbiz figures joined critics on Monday in condemning President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to pardon US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was convicted in 2014 for killing Filipina transgender Jennifer Laude.
ABS-CBN artist Liza Soberano was one of the trending personalities on Twitter after she asked whether government officials should just easily disregard that Pemberton killed Laude just because he had been behaved well in prison.
Soberano said she felt like crying out of frustration with the Philippine government.
“So a murder was just released for good conduct. Are we supposed to just forget that he killed Jennifer Laude because he’s done some good? #JusticeForJenniferLaude #TransLivesMatter,” Soberano said in a tweet.
The “Make It With You” actress also questioned why the government was trying to treat Pemberton “fairly” when it was not fair that Laude was killed just because of her sexual orientation.
“Another question, you think this murderer (i’m not even gonna say his name) wasn’t treated fairly but, was it fair that Jennifer Laude was murdered out of hate just because of her sexual orientation? #TransLivesMatter,” Soberano added.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 7, 2020
Another question, you think this murderer (im not even gonna say his name) wasn’t treated fairly but, was it fair that Jennifer Laude was murdered out of hate just because of her sexual orientation? #TransLivesMatter
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 7, 2020ADVERTISEMENT
Meanwhile, leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQIA+) rights advocate Naomi Fontanos said that Pemberton’s release proved that the administration’s independent foreign policy was a sham.
“This is clear proof that #PresidentDuterte’s independent foreign policy is all for show & that he doesn’t value the lives of #LGBTQIA+ Filipinos in spite of what his supporters claim.A terrible #injustice to #JenniferLaude & her family & entire nation. #JusticeForJenniferLaude,” Fontanos, who heads Ganda Filipinas, said.
Among the other personalities who criticized the pardon were former “Pinoy Big Brother” contestant Vivoree Esclito, director Antonette Jadaone, writer and actor Juan Miguel Severo, Ben and Ben band members Paolo Guico and Patricia Lasaten, online personality Jervi Li, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, and 2019 bar topnotcher Mae Diane Azores, and artist Saab Magalona.
Grabe, I am heartbroken for Jennifer’s family. Heartbroken for the trans community. This is not right. #JusticeForJenniferLaude
— Saab (@saabmagalona) September 7, 2020
We live in a country where absolute pardon is given like candy to convicted foreigner murderers. This is truly disheartening. #JusticeForJenniferLaude
— Diane♥️✊ (@MaeDianeAzores) September 7, 2020
Pemberton’s early release was based on an order issued by Olongapo Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Roline M. Ginez-Jabalde, citing that the US serviceman had completed his jail sentence factoring in the reduced time allowed under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA).
Pemberton was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, but with the GCTA deductions, that period lasted to just six years.
Critics questioned his release — noting that the GCTA scheme was suspended after anomalies came out in its implementation, including the possible release of heinous crime convicts.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque previously said that Pemberton’s release was put on hold to allow for a motion for reconsideration expected to be filed by the prosecution.
But with Duterte’s absolute pardon, Pemberton had become a free man.’s suspended?
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