The absolute pardon grant given to Joseph Pemberton, the US Marine convicted for the killing of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude, was an affront to both the Laude family and the LGBTQI community, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Wednesday.
“Pemberton committed one of the most brutal crimes against a transwoman in the country. Granting a presidential pardon to such a felon is an affront to… the Laude family and the LGBTQI community,” CHR Focal Commissioner on Gender Equality and LGBTQI Human Rights Karen Gomez-Dumpit said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said Pemberton was not treated fairly and earned his early release due to his accumulation of good conduct time allowances (GCTA).
Gomez-Dumpit said “Pemberton’s express pardon exhibited double standards, lack of fairness, and the absence of empathy for the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“The Commission recognizes the scope of the chief executive’s power to grant pardon. However, there is still an obligation to account for the exercise of the pardon, to wield this power with prudence and sensitivity to the plight of victims,” she added.
Laude was found dead in an Olongapo City motel room on Oct. 12, 2014. Police identified Pemberton as the suspect two days after.
Pemberton served only five years when the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court issued his release order on Sept. 1.
The court ruled that his GCTA increased his time served to a total of 2,142 days or 10 years, one month and 10 days. John Ezekiel J. Hirro