Binay: Pemberton conviction won’t affect PH-US relations
While welcoming the verdict of the Olongapo Regional Trial court convicting Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton for the death of Filipino transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said the decision would not affect the “good relations” between the United States and the Philippines.
Binay noted that Pemberton’s case was a criminal offense and that the local court based its ruling on evidence.
“VP Binay welcomes the conviction of Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton for the murder of Jennifer Laude. Justice has been done to the Laude family,” Binay spokesperson Rico Quicho said in a statement.
“The Vice President believes the decision will not affect the good relations between the US and the Philippines as the case involved a criminal offense and the court ruled based on evidence,” he added.
The Olongapo court on Tuesday ruled that Pemberton was guilty of homicide for Laude’s death, sentencing him to up to 12 years imprisonment and declaring him national prisoner. Pemberton will be temporarily detained at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa pending the agreement of the United States and Philippine governments.
In his testimony in August, Pemberton, who admitted strangling Laude and dunking her head in a toilet bowl, said he choked the victim unconscious after finding out she was a transgender.
The crime took place when Pemberton was participating in joint military exercises between the US and the Philippines. Following Laude’s death, various militant groups called for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement amid continuous American military presence in the country and as the Philippines seeks US support over territorial disputes with China. RC