Pemberton Vs. Laude: A Classic Case Of Pinoy Injustice

There has been a mixed reaction to Joseph Scott Pemberton’s confession about assaulting Jeffrey/Jennifer Laude and there are now those who demand that Pemberton be charged with murder and then there are those that state that the marine was simply overwhelmed with anger and that his charges be reduced considerably. I remember writing various articles that deconstruct some of the values that the we Filipinos supposedly have. We’ve discussed everything from humility, industry to democracy and now our subject for today is justice, especially when it comes to the Pemberton vs. Laude case, and how, once again, we fail to understand what it really means.


So okay, let’s start with the definition of the word “justice”. Big word, isn’t it? In essence, justice is supposed to be a sense of equality and fairness. It is about “giving what is due” regardless of a person’s standing in life. It is closely tied with the laws that govern a country and that justice revolves around what should be done when one of these laws are broken. While it may surprise some, justice is not about revenge. Justice is about maintaining or restoring a social balance but revenge is simply giving into one’s emotions and getting even with the opposite party regardless of who else it may harm.

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A good example of justice is that when someone is robbed, efforts will be made to restore that victim’s stolen goods. When someone is kidnapped, efforts will be made to find the person in question and return them to their loved ones. Unfortunately, majority of Pinoys do not seem to see the idea of “justice” in the same way. More often than not, to the common and typical Pinoy, “justice” is about exacting one’s revenge on another, regardless whose feelings it may hurt and how it may destabilize society as a whole. For Pinoys, “justice” is more about making one feel better about oneself rather than doing what is right.

The whole debacle regarding Pemberton and Laude is more a product of people’s prejudice rather than because of the people’s “sense of justice”. What’s actually happening is that anti-American protesters are simply taking advantage of the xenophobia inherent in a lot of Pinoys in order to kick the Americans out of the Philippines. At the end of the day, it’s less about giving the murdered Ms. Laude the justice she deserves, but more about making Pinoys feel superior to the American forces based in our shores.

While I still think that Ms. Laude didn’t deserve to die, I still find it more than a little hypocritical that there are so few who want to listen to Pemberton’s side of the story. How can there be justice when the majority see Ms. Laude as the victim and Mr. Pemberton is the victimizer even when it’s been said that Ms. Laude has a criminal record of her own that needs to be considered before jumping to conclusions? How can there be justice when the side of the “victim” refuses to be honest about what really happened and continues to ignore the empirical evidence presented to them in favor of unreliable testimonies from questionable witnesses?

9 Replies to “Pemberton Vs. Laude: A Classic Case Of Pinoy Injustice”

  1. Well, good on you for keeping a level head.

    I wish people would give the legal system a chance but if many have lost faith in it, I can’t blame them.

    Everyone is entitled to due process, from people like Pemberton to scumbag senators like Enrile. Rule of law is a bitter pill but it’s the only thing keeping us from becoming a lynch mob; executing people because it feels right or because they were “obviously” guilty and deserved it.

  2. I will not comment on the case…it is still on trial.

    Moral Lesson: if you are selling your goods. Do not defraud your customers. You may pay, with your life for it. I wish all Political Scammers, will received the same treatment…be killed by those they have scammed.

  3. In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

  4. What matters here is NOT the victims past criminal record but whetehr or not he was murdered.Apparently Jeffrey Laude had a penis, so that makes him a Man (not a Woman) even though Laude identified himself as a ‘she’, that is in-correct. This is just another example of how a lot of this case is irrelevant of the actual case and its criminal charges.
    If the perpetrator killed the victim and intended to do so…a murder conviction is called for.If the death of the victim was unintentional and not pre-meditated some sort of ‘Manslaughter’ charge is more ikely to be handed down. IDK how the Philippine criminal justice system works but this case is about a dead guy and the circumstances that led to his death, and that is all. The rest of the bullshit flying around this case is irrelevant and should be ignored.
    From the perpetrators POV , he was duped into thinking he was have sex with a hot chick and when he found out he had just had sex with a Man, he freaked out and killed the guy. A temporary insanity defese seems likely but IMO is just bullshit. He killed the guy, and that is really all that happened, in a criminal context.

    1. The problem you see here is because of Pinoy over-emotionalism. Justice, in and of itself, is hard and cold. It is simply about the truth and cold, hard facts. It doesn’t really matter what you feel about the issue.

      Sure, no one deserves to die but the people simply let their emotions get the better of them again.

  5. He should be on trial for killing another human and any mitigating circumstances considered in sentencing. Unfortunately he’s actually on trial for killing a Filipino.

  6. I agree!!!

    Just to add — beyond the legal issue, there is a question of morality applicable on both parties. If they BOTH stayed on the narrow moral path, this could have been avoided entirely.

    1. When you say staying on the “narrow moral path,” do you mean Pemberton not hiring a prostitute for sex and Laude not prostituting herself and being transgender as well? Because if you are, then those do not have any ground on the case itself. It’s about killing someone, intentionally or not.

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