The recent killing of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, a transgender woman, allegedly perpetrated by a soldier of the United States, has drawn disparate reactions from and had polarized the Filipino people.
Juxtaposed indignant calls for investigation, swift justice, and repeated warning to the government against efforts to cover-up the facts of the case and give special treatment to the suspected perpetrator is the spread of disquieting online “hate posts” aimed against the victim, providing justification for the crime allegedly committed by US Marine PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton.
The killing of Jennifer is enraging and abominable, even more so alarming that the crime was ostensibly triggered by the victim’s gender. This case comes as a bitter reminder that our cause to advance the recognition, respect, and equal treatment of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) is relevant and urgent.
Hate crimes have been a persistent nightmare of the LGBT sector. Every day, hundreds of our LGBTs are subjected to hate speech, discrimination, and violence, victimized physically, emotionally, and psychologically amidst the backdrop of the prevailing patriarchal and “macho” culture.
Intolerance proliferate as prevailing social structures condone the abnormal treatment of LGBTs. The absence of any laws addressing this intolerance also contributes to the perpetration of the culture of hate and violence against the LGBTs.
As demands to assert the country’s laws and have the suspect face Philippine court snowball, various LGBT formations express apprehensions that campaigns for justice will in the long run take its peak on and just be confined to oppositions to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Realities surrounding Jennifer’s murder, despite VFA provisions that require American troops involved in the joint military exercises and break Philippine laws to face only US legal systems, however goes beyond the issues on VFA and EDCA. Jennifer’s murder is, in fact, a concrete manifestation that, like the impunity of American soldiers in inflicting abuses on women and children, no amount of treaties between countries and inclusive safeguards guarantee non-commission of hate crimes and bequest of special treatment to perpetrators, foreign or otherwise, to escape the Philippine justice system.
Given these realities, in the face of this dreadful criminality committed to a fellow LGBT — a fellow Filipino — it is but an imperative for Filipino LGBTs and allies to gather as many anti-hate crime advocates as possible for the formation of the Justice for Jennifer Watch and invoke the earnest assertion of sovereignty and expression of patriotism. As such, we shall:
1. Urge the turnover to Philippine authorities of the suspected perpetrator of the murder, US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.
2. Monitor the legal proceedings on the Jennifer Laude case.
3. Ensure that no sellout is entered into by Philippine legal system and justice is served.
4. Spread the message that Jennifer Laude needs justice, not condemnation.
We know that like all members of the LGBT community, you feel strongly about what has been done to our sister, Jennifer, and would like to see an end to homophobia and transphobia in the Philippines.
We know you see that her death deserves justice and that the hate spawned by her death is both unpardonable and ironic. “Si Jennifer na ang napatay, siya pa ang kinamumuhian.”
Sexual orientation and gender identity must be treated as private. Just because Jennifer Laude’s identity went viral does not give us the right to pass judgment.
As we condemn the heinous barbarity behind the hate crime committed on the defenseless transgender and women involved in the prostitution trade, we call for swift justice for Jennifer Laude.
We call for an end to hate crimes and justice to all its victims.
Justice for Jennifer! Justice for all Victims of Hate Crimes!# # #
1. ARREST THE MILITARY SERVICEMAN NOW AND TURN HIM OVER TO THE PHILIPPINE AUTHORITIES!WE DON’T WANT ANOTHER “DANIEL SMITH”!https://www.facebook.com/notes/kapederasyon/statement-on-the-killing-of-jennifer-laude/1493968327527667
2. LGBT GROUP CRIES FOUL OVER HATE POSTShttps://kapederasyon.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/lgbt-group-cries-foul-over-hate-posts/JOIN US ON Friday, 4pm at UST for a solidarity March for Pride and Justice.
JOIN US HERE! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1550638698501803/?fref=nfhttp://www.interaksyon.com/article/97628/lgbt-support-groups-pinoys-should-stand-up-for-fellow-humanhttp://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/10/21/1382610/noy-hit-silence-jennifer-case