Jennifer Laude Murder Case
JENNIFER LAUDE MURDER CASE: SENSATIONALIZED?, OR A SUBJECT QUITE RIGHT TO TALK AND WRITE ABOUT?
Photo Credit: Jennifer Laude’s Facebook
For one, let’s not look at this ‘Jennifer Laude Murder Case’ based on religious viewpoint: if homosexuality is a serious sin or not; or, based it on psychological viewpoint: if it is, indeed, innate or developed. The ultimate issue is: Why Laude was murdered; what are the reasons behind that pushed US Marine Pcf Joseph Scott Pemberton commit this horrendous crime; why there’s this avalanche of anger and dismay from almost all sectors of Philippine society, most especially, from the LGBT group; why there is again a cry to trash the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)?
Facts, opinions and hypotheses to this Laude Murder Case seem so many, let alone, numerous questions, opinions and speculations are still coming into the fore:
- The murder of Jennifer Laude was committed by a Marine member of the US Forces who majority of Filipinos eye as a person who will protect them from harm, but instead harmed one of them — an outright murder of a Filipino by a foreigner right at the heart of the Philippine soil (and that is irrespective if there was a deception committed by Laude about her true gender).
- The ‘murder case’ of Laude, a transgender, hit hard the sentiments, let alone, sensibilities and sensitivities of the LGBT group of the Philippine society on this issue of societal discrimination against ‘third sex’, which now becomes a stimulus to revisit, review, consider and pass into law the ‘anti-discriminatory act’ against members of the LGBT group.
- Laude Murder Case serves as another test of time, a true litmus paper test, on how the Philippine judicial system will conduct fair-legal investigation and trial being faced by an American member of US Forces, and if indeed, in the end, justice will be served. Can justice be really served.
- The ‘Laude Murder Case’ serves as a potent call to finally review the nitty-gritty of the existing custody provision of the duly and mutually agreed upon Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) [i.e. is it really just, fair that the American suspect be in the custody of the US Forces until legal processes are completed, or is it an outright judicial right and mandate of the Philippine government to have the American suspect be immediately handed over to their custody as the crime was committed inside the premise of the Philippine soil and where all existing Philippine legal laws should be toe the line].
- Given this Laude murder case scenario and, taking into consideration the 2005 Nicole rape-case, one concerned Filipino will have the right to think and say that Philippine government and its laws have no equal power to protect the human and legal rights of their constituents. And yes, can we blame them?
- The decision of President Noynoy Aquino not to attend the wake and funeral of Laude seems correct to many, but yes indeed, seems correct to be opposed by several concerned Filipinos as well. As the head of state, perhaps, it will look more compassionate of him if he has sent somebody from his cabinet to visit and condole the family. We are talking ‘proximity’ in here — in essence, a compassion from a Filipino leader to an ordinary Filipino who was murdered by a member of the US Visiting Forces, which the Philippine government has good ties with.
- As for the issue of ‘trashing’ the Visiting Forces Agreement, we really could not deny the fact that the military strength and capabilities of the Philippine Armed Forces is really not good enough to counteract, defend the Philippines against military bullying and aggression by any outside forces taking into view the ongoing tension and dispute between China and the Philippines over the China sea territories. As of this writing, many countries of the world still need the assistance of the United States of America in view of their need for territorial, let alone, economic security.
- As for Pcf Joseph Scott Pemberton, the US Marine suspect vis-à-vis the murder of Laude, all due process of law should be extended and given to him. Let’s not rule out the fact that he basically did not come to Philippines to commit murder (kill Laude). He has as well a family reputation, name and profession to protect, much more, to honor. Let the arm of justice takes it course. But then again, only fair justice that carries fair trial and honest verdict (without American intervention or influence of ‘other’ people that, directly or indirectly, can change the course of fair trial).
- On a totally different issue: Is it really high time to allow same-sex marriage within the social tapestry of our Philippine society? Are we, Filipinos liberal-minded enough to accept this new moral and social call and change? Would it work if applicable sets of laws for heterosexuals [married couples] be used for same ‘same-sex couple’?: i.e. NO to ‘infidelity; ‘No-no’ to ‘perversion’. The answer maybe: Perhaps, yes. Perhaps, not. But one thing is for sure, we will be needing enough writing space and another columnist and writer to write and tackle this issue.