United States Marine First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton has been tagged in the killing of Jeffrey Laude (alternately Jennifer Laude), a transgender resident of Olongapo City.
While this case brings back memories of the infamous Subic rape case involving accuser Suzette Nicolas (identified publicly as “Nicole”) and L/CPl. Daniel Smith, the cases has two main differences:
1) This is murder, a case incomparable to rape even though they’re both categorized as heinous crime. A wide array of defenses can be used to defeat a rape case, but how can you justify killing someone?
2) Also, the victim is identified not as a gay man but as a transgender, making this the first of its kind in the eyes of Filipinos. (Visit this website to know more about transgender people.)
Yesterday, a newspaper in New Bedford, Massachusetts carried an article detailing some facts about Pemberton. According to the South Coast Today, Pemberton is 19 years old.
He graduated from the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School, specializing in metal fabrication and joining. He joined the US Marines in mid-2013 and left for South Carolina around August. Take note that this information can also be derived from Pemberton’s Facebook page.
The facts of the case of course will have to be settled by the courts, but for now, it can be inferred from news reports that Laude has a German boyfriend who nevertheless went to a motel with a visiting American soldier, who thought that he’s a biological woman.
Laude may be guilty of cheating on that German guy and duping the clueless American dude. SO WHAT? What difference does it make? Is that enough to justify strangling and drowning him?
A Filipino was murdered by a foreigner in our country. Instead of being unified in outrage over this horrific incident, some Filipinos chose to express homophobic and victim-blaming sentiments in articles published about the crime. Check the following links:
Olongapo slay suspect admits “he did something wrong” (from Rappler)
In fact, there is now a Facebook page titled “Support for Joseph Scott Pemberton.” It was created October 17 and now has over 200 followers. Judging from the quality of the posts made on that page, it is fairly certain that Filipinos are the ones behind the page.
It can be remembered that a group named “Justice for Daniel Smith” led by the late Jesuit priest James Reuter appeared shortly after the soldier was convicted of rape in December 2006.