Vice President Leni Robredo said President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to pardon a US marine convicted of killing a Filipina transgender woman is a proof that his administration sides only sides with those who are powerful.
“Ngayon, lalong luminaw na mayroon din siyang resources para masigurong mabibigyang-pansin ng mismong Pangulo ang kaso niya, the Vice President said in a statement.
[Now, it has become clearer that he also has resources to ensure that his case will get the attention of the President himself.]
Robredo pointed out that several Filipinos jailed only committed minor crimes compared to that of Pemberton, but they were not given the privilege like the US Marine did.
“Isa lang ang kasong ito sa maraming patunay ng pagkiling sa makapangyarihan na nakikita natin mula sa pamahalaan. Napakaraming mga Pilipino na mas magaan ang sala, ngunit hindi nabibigyang-pansin o nabibigyan ng ganitong uri ng pribilehiyo. Ang nakikita natin: Kapag mahirap, may parusa; kapag mayaman at nasa poder, malaya,” Robredo added.
[This case is just another proof of government’s favor for those who are powerful. There are many Filipinos whose cases are lighter, but do not get attention or this kind of privilege. What we see is that those who are poor are punished; those who are wealthy and in power are free.]
Pemberton was first detained while on trial and then imprisoned following his December 2015 conviction for the October 2014 killing of Jennifer Laude, whom he met at a bar while on a break from military exercises in the northern city of Olongapo.
He admitted to choking Laude after finding out she had male genitals following an intimate act. Her body was found in an Olongapo City hotel, head slumped in a toilet bowl.