Press Release
September 3, 2020

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the early release of Pemberton

The recently ordered release of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton would be a loss in the LGBTQI+ community's fight for equality and justice.

Pemberton was sentenced to 10 years in prison but his 'hate crime,' which he committed in "self defense," has so far resulted in less than six years of punishment. Many LGBTQI+ groups believe that six years is not enough, especially considering the gruesome killing he committed against Jennifer.

It also seems that Pemberton's team saw the pandemic as an opportunity to plan his release, as they filed a Motion for Computation in June under the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law then filed a Motion for Release in August. The swiftness by which our institutions have acted on a white, male American's case is a privilege that is never accorded to many Filipinos. What message does this send to our citizens who have routinely suffered from our own justice system?

To rub salt into the wound, since Jennifer's death in 2014, Pemberton has never apologized for the immeasurable pain he caused the LGBTQI+ community, the country, nor the Laude family, even when they and their lawyer asked for it. Those years of deafening silence, and now an early release — this is not what Jennifer deserves. Pemberton paid the Laude family over P4.6 million in civil damages, but no amount can ever bring back the life and dignity of Jennifer.

I hope the court will give due course to the motion for reconsideration of Jennifer's camp.

News Latest News Feed