Filipino activists have criticized a local court for reducing the sentence of a U.S. Marine convicted of killing a Filipino transgender in 2014.
The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court upheld Joseph Scott Pemberton's killing of Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude, but reduced the sentence from 12 years to 10 years imprisonment.
"[The decision] speaks volumes about our nation's continued subservience to the U.S.," said Sarah Elago of the Youth Party on April 5.
"We cannot accept the fact that a convicted murderer has been able to easily sway the court in his favor just because he is a U.S. citizen," said Elago.
The youth leader expressed worry that Pemberton will soon be accorded a "graceful exit" from the Philippines.
In December, Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila joined activists in questioning "special treatment" reportedly being accorded to Pemberton by Philippine authorities who detained the convicted U.S. Marine in a military camp instead of a prison.