Philippines deports US Marine who killed transgender

Updated 14 Sep 2020

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In this photo, US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, right, poses for a selfie while showing the headlines of a newspaper beside his lawyer Rowena Garcia-Flores on September 8.  — AP
In this photo, US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, right, poses for a selfie while showing the headlines of a newspaper beside his lawyer Rowena Garcia-Flores on September 8. — AP

MANILA: The Philippines on Sunday deported a United States Marine convicted of killing a transgender woman in the Southeast Asian country in 2014, after he was granted an absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton left Manila’s international airport at 9:14 am local time aboard an American military aircraft bound for the United States, according to Bureau of Immigration (BI) spokeswoman Dana Sandoval.

Pemberton was accompanied by representatives from the US embassy on his way to the airport, she told state television PTV-4.

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

Details of Pemberton’s flight arrangements were not disclosed to the media until after he left amid tight security measures.

A court had found Pemberton guilty of killing Jennifer Laude in a hotel in Olongapo, outside a former US navy base northwest of the capital Manila, six years ago, in a case that sparked debate over the US military presence in its former colony.

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

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2020