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Friday, April 23, 2021

Philippines deports U.S military personnel over transgender murder

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The Philippines Government has deported a United States Marine, Lance Corporal Joseph Pemberton, convicted of killing a transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, at a hotel in Olongapo, outside a former U.S. navy base northwest of the country’s capital, Manila.

Pemberton, who left Manila’s international airport aboard an American military aircraft bound for his country after he was granted an absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte, was convicted by the Philippines court for the murder of Laude in 2014.

The convict, accompanied by representatives from the U.S. embassy, left the country at 0114 GMT on Sunday, six years after perpetrating the act that sparked debate over the U.S. military presence in its former colony.

Confirming his departure, the spokesman for the country’s Bureau of Immigration (BI), Dana Sandoval, told newsmen that the convict has been deported to his country.

Through a statement by the bureau commissioner, Jaime Morente, the convict has been placed on the country’s blacklist, banning the military officer from visiting the country.

Morente said: “As a consequence of the deportation order against him, Pemberton has been placed on the Bureau’s blacklist, perpetually banning him from coming back”.

Earlier, Duterte’s move to pardon Pemberton has sparked condemnation from activists who described the move as a mockery of justice.

Justifying reasons for the decision, Presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, who served as a lawyer in the prosecution of Pemberton, stated that Duterte’s decision may have stemmed from his desire to get access to coronavirus vaccines being developed by U.S. firms.

However, the Philippine health ministry said that none of the U.S. vaccine makers the government is in talks with had set any conditions.

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