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Philippines deports US Marine in transgender killing

Philippines US Marine Killing
Posted at 8:41 AM, Sep 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-13 08:41:46-04

MANILA, Philippines -- A U.S. Marine convicted of killing a Filipino transgender woman has been deported after a presidential pardon cut short his detention in a case that renewed outrage over a pact governing American military presence in the Philippines.

Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton said in a farewell message that he was extremely grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for pardoning him and expressed his most sincere sympathy to the family of Jennifer Laude, who he was convicted of killing in 2014 after finding out that she was a transgender in a motel northwest of Manila.

Philippines US Marine Killing
A protester holds a slogan with a photo of the killed transgender Filipino woman Jennifer Laude during a rally in Quezon city, Philippines, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. The Philippine president recently pardoned Pemberton in a surprise move that will free him from imprisonment in the 2014 killing of Laude that sparked anger in the former American colony. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Duterte’s pardon was condemned by LGBTQ groups while the case has rekindled perceptions that American military personnel who run afoul of Philippine laws can get special treatment under a defense pact.