MANILA – The Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) on Sunday said the case of US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was convicted of killing transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014, is an isolated case.
“That does not embody the totality or the intent of training with our American counterparts — or with the armed forces of other countries for that matter,” AFP spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.
“In every iteration of the training, stringent measures were put in place and strict regulations are in force to guide the conduct of the individual participant or of the entire contingent,” Arevalo added.
While there are comprehensive briefings on laws, customs, and cultural sensitivities for visiting service members, there are some who deviate from the established norms and desired conduct.
“The lesson that the recent incident tells everyone is that no one is above the law — and that for any misconduct or transgressions, they will be punished accordingly,” Arevalo said.
Pemberton was deported on Sunday and banned from re-entering the Philippines.
He was granted an “absolute pardon” by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sept. 7, a few days after Olongapo RTC Branch 74 Presiding Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde, in a decision issued on Sept. 1, ruled that Pemberton has a total accumulated time served with an entitlement of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) of 10 years, one month, and 10 days.
Pemberton was convicted of homicide and sentenced to six to 10 years imprisonment by the same court in December 2015 for the killing of Laude last Oct. 11, 2014. (PNA)