A US Marine was deported to the United States on Sunday. The man was convicted of killing a transgender woman in the Philippines in 2014, but was amnestied this week by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Laude found dead in the toilet
Pemberton has been convicted of killing Jennifer Laude. The Marine strangled her in his hotel room after finding out she was transgender. He has served just over half of his ten-year sentence.
Last week, Duterte granted him a full pardon for his actions, amid protests from human rights and LGBTI organizations. “This is a clear and clear message that the lives of Filipino trans women don’t matter,” local LGBTI group UP Babaylan said in a statement.
On Sunday morning local time, Pemberton flew to the US in a military plane accompanied by American embassy officials. The Philippine Immigration Office has announced that he has been blacklisted and is no longer welcome in the country.
Pemberton testified before his conviction that he attacked Laude, but that she was still alive when he left her in the hotel room in Olangapo, just outside a US naval base. Laude was found dead in the room and hung over the toilet, with traces of beatings and strangulation.
Pemberton was granted parole two weeks ago, but was awaiting an appeal from Laude’s attorney. That appeal has been nullified by Duterte’s pardon.
“The president has waived the remaining prison sentence,” Dutertes spokesman Harry Roque announced last week. “Thanks to the pardon he can now go home”, writes BBC News.
Laude’s family lawyer says the decision is “mocking” the Philippine legal system.
Pemberton was serving his sentence on a US base, rather than a Philippine prison, as a result of a defense agreement between the two countries. Among other things, the case has sparked discussion in the former American colony about Philippine sovereignty. There is still a large US military presence in the country.