After thanking Duterte for Pemberton pardon, Marcos bats for SOGIE bill
MANILA, Philippines — After thanking President Rodrigo Duterte for laying to rest issues concerning US serviceman Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, Senator Imee on Tuesday called on the chief executive to certify as urgent anti-discrimination bills pending in Congress.
In a statement on Tuesday, Marcos, who branded herself a champion of the LGBT+ sector during the campaign, said it “behooves” the state to guarantee that violence against members of LGBT+ community as well other forms of discrimination would never happen again.
Duterte earlier granted absolute pardon to Pemberton, who was convicted for the murder of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.
“The outcry against Pemberton’s pardon despite the horrific killing of transgender Jennifer Laude will never be fully appeased until the bills on SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) are passed by Congress and signed into law,” Marcos said.
There are four anti-discrimination bills currently pending at the committee level in the Senate.
One of these measures include Marcos’ Senate Bill No. 412, which seeks to prohibit and penalize discrimination on the basis of SOGIE.
“The penalties and benefits accorded Pemberton are contained in our Revised Penal Code where the amended provisions on good conduct time allowance (GCTA) were signed into law in 2013 by then President Benigno Aquino III,” Marcos pointed out.
“The observance of law must not be replaced with an indulgence of emotion, nor the call for justice be replaced with a call for revenge,” she added.
Duterte’s decision to pardon Pemberton came in the heels of widespread opposition and criticisms over an order of a Olongapo court to release the American soldier based on the computation of his GCTA.
Several lawmakers slammed the absolute pardon granted to Pemberton, while others recognized the pardoning power of the President under the Constitution.
“The role of the president in issuing a pardon is to prevent any future discordant issues that opposition politicians would try to exploit,” Marcos said in an earlier statement.
“The President has laid the issue to rest and we thank him for it,” she added.
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