Imee: Pemberton Pardon Signals Urgency Of Passing Anti-Discrimination Bills

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Senator Imee Marcos has pleaded President Duterte to certify the urgency of passing anti-discrimination bills pending in Congress, after he granted absolute pardon to US Marine and homicide convict Joseph Scott Pemberton.

“The outcry against Pemberton’s pardon despite the horrific killing of transgender Jennifer Laude will never be fully appeased until the bills on SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) are passed by Congress and signed into law,” Marcos said.

“Now it behooves us to guarantee that violence against the LGBT+ community and other victims of discrimination is never repeated,” Marcos added.

Marcos’s own SOGIE bill was among the first she filed as senator in July last year despite the prevailing opposition of religious groups and a largely Catholic populace.

“The penalties and benefits accorded Pemberton are contained in our Revised Penal Code where the amended provisions on good conduct time allowance (GCTA) were signed into law in 2013 by then President Benigno Aquino III,” Marcos said.

“The observance of law must not be replaced with an indulgence of emotion, nor the call for justice be replaced with a call for revenge,” Marcos added.

“President Duterte has deftly cut the Gordian knot of abiding by Philippine law while balancing geopolitical interests amid the health and economic crises wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Marcos finally said.