demand justice for Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude murdered by a
United States marine
A Press Statement by the
International Women’s Alliance (IWA) on the murder of Jennifer Laude
November 2, 2014
The International Women’s
Alliance (IWA) strongly condemns the brutal murder of 26-year old
Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude who was allegedly killed by
United States Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton on
October 11, 2014. Jennifer Laude was last seen with PFC Pemberton and
was found dead in a hotel bathroom less than an hour later with her
head shoved in a toilet bowl, autopsy later revealing she died of
The women of the
organizations in IWA, a global alliance of militant grassroots-based
women’s organizations, institutions, alliances, networks and
individuals committed to advance national and social liberation and
gender equality, mourn the unjust and sudden death of Jennifer and
extend our support and sincere condolences to the family, friends,
community of Jennifer Laude, who are grappling with grief as they lose
a daughter, a loved one, a friend.
As an alliance, IWA places
culpability on the Aquino regime for continuing agreements, policies,
treaties and laws that trample on the sovereignty of the Philippines,
the rights of the Filipino people and condone the unequal relations
between the US and the Philippines. Under the Mutual Defense Treaty
(MDT), the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense
Cooperation (EDCA) Agreement, the US military servicemen have and
continue to regard the Philippines as a playground for “rest and
recreation” and the Filipinos as sex slaves and sex objects for
consumption. Jennifer Laude’s murder is part of the systemic violence
that is deeply rooted in a historical legacy of imperialist occupation
and an extension of all systems of exploitation and slavery. We
believe that in order to build safety for LGBT people, women, and
children we must eliminate the root causes and conditions that
contribute to and justify the senseless violence.
We also recognize that
transphobia, homophobia and hate crime, as expressed differently in
the world, have resulted in many deaths. We acknowledge that
Jennifer’s life, along with the lives of other victims of
transviolence and hate crimes, matters a great deal. Their deaths have
provided impetus for awareness raising on the issues and struggles of
trans genders. IWA is also committed to organize against all forms of
hate, intolerance and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender, and Queer people.
The long history of military
violence has proven to be devastating to Filipino/a children, women
and LGBTQ people as the rate of prostitution and sexual assault
increases with the presence of US military, from the Balangiga
Massacre that started when two American soldiers tried to molest a
girl tending a store in September 1901 to the rape of “Nicole” by
Lance Corporal Daniel Smith in November 2005.
In the past weeks, PFC
Pemberton has been shielded by the US with the latter swiftly taking
custody and protecting the alleged murderer of Laude in a
US-controlled facility. Although Pemberton is currently being tried
under Philippine laws, he can choose not to appear and was never
presented to the family and the Filipino people. Under US protection,
PFC Pemberton has arrogantly made demands to reduce charges against
The MDT, the VFA and the
recently signed, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) have
made all these possible. Philippine sovereignty and the Filipino
people remain at the mercy and will of US dictates.
Lastly, IWA supports the
call of the Filipino women for the removal of US troops, military
facilities and bases from their soil, the Asia-Pacific region and
beyond. These facilities and bases are magnets for war and have been
used by the US in its intervention and aggression in many parts of the
world. We oppose the increasing presence of US troops in the region as
the US "rebalances" and "pivots" to Asia and heightens militarization
of the Asia-Pacific region. We join the call for justice for Jennifer
Laude and justice for the Filipino nation.
JUSTICE FOR JENNIFER LAUDE!
HOLD PEMBERTON ACCOUNTABLE!
ASSERT CUSTODY OF PEMBERTON!
PRESENT PEMBERTON TO THE FAMILY AND THE FILIPINO PEOPLE!
END VIOLENCE AGAINST ALL
LGBT PEOPLE! TRANS-LIVES MATTER!
US TROOPS OUT NOW! RESPECT
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PHILIPPINES!
END UNEQUAL RELATIONS
BETWEEN THE PHILIPPINES AND THE U.S.! TERMINATE THE VISITING FORCES
AGREEMENT! STOP NEGOTIATIONS ON ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION