Malacañang denied the claims of the camp of Filipina transwoman Jennifer Laude that President Rodrigo Duterte promised to prevent US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton from gaining his freedom.
In a press briefing on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte didn’t break any promise to the Laude family.
According to him, Duterte only vowed to give justice to Laude and the President fulfilled it.
“Ang alam ko po ay walang ganyang promise ang Presidente, ang pangako po ni Presidente ay bibigyan ng katarungan ang kamatayan ni Jennifer Laude at nakulong naman po si Pemberton ng halos anim na taon,” said Roque.
Roque also confirmed that President Duterte gave financial aid to Julita Laude, the mother the Jennifer.
“I can confirm only because Mrs. Laude already said na nakatanggap sila ng financial aid pero ang pagkabilin bilin po ni Presidente ‘ay hindi ko pinangangalandakan kung sino ang tinutulungan ko’,” he said.
“But since nangaling na po yan kay Mrs. Laude, I can confirm, the President gave them financial assistance three times, pero ‘yung halaga ay bahala na po sila… wag na po nating isapubliko dahil ayaw sanang ilabas ni Presidente ‘yung tulong niya sa Laude family pero ang tulong niya ay tulong naman po sa lahat ng nangangailangan,” he added.
He also assured that the LGBTQIA+ community in the country is still safe despite the decision of the President to grant pardon to Pemberton.
The Spokesperson pointed out that the government deported Pemberton and he’s not allowed to come back to the country anymore.
Roque is the former legal counsel of the Laude family.
A few days ago, Mrs. Laude expressed disappointment to President Duterte, saying that they’re only asking for more time to Pemberton to face his consequences.
“Sampung taong pagkakakulong lang sana ang hinihingi naming kabayaran para sa buhay ng anak ko, SAMPUNG TAON LANG SANA! Napaka iksing panahong kabayarang pagkakakulong para sa buhay ng anak ko,” said Julita.
Aside from the financial help they received from the President, the camp of Pemberton also paid P4.5-M to the family of Laude.