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Philippine Prosecutors Recommend Murder Charge for U.S. Marine in Death of Trans Woman - VIDEO

Laude

Prosecutors in the Philippines are recommending that a U.S. Marine be charged with murder in the suspected killing of a transgender woman back in OctoberThe New York Times reports:

Joseph Scott PembertonThe Philippines does not have a jury system so the case will be turned over to a judge who will decide the case against the Marine, Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, in the death of Jennifer Laude, 26. Private Pemberton faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of murder, prosecutors said on Monday.

Private Pemberton was arrested in October while in the Philippines for United States military exercises. He met Ms. Laude in an Olongapo City nightclub and then accompanied her to a nearby hotel, according to a preliminary investigation that relied in part on closed-circuit television footage. Ms. Laude was later found dead on the hotel room’s toilet; her neck was broken.

Prosecutors said on Monday that they had recommended murder charges, rather than the lesser offense of homicide, because of aggravating circumstances, including the violent nature of Ms. Laude’s death.

“There was aggravated treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty,” said Emiline Delos Santos, the chief prosecutor of Olongapo City, about 50 miles outside Manila. “Because you have those three aggravating, qualifying circumstances, it is murder.”

Pemberton has not commented on the case and has yet to appear at any preliminary hearings. Back in October, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement saying:

“We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident. We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the Philippine National Police to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects.”

Watch a news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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U.S. Marine Probed In Murder Of Filippino Transgender Woman - VIDEO

Marine accused of transgender filippino woman murder

Police in the Philippines preparing to file murder charges against a U.S. marine suspected of killing a transgender woman will ask American officials to arrange the marine's surrender, reports Bloomberg.

An October 12th police report identified the victim as Jeffrey Laude - also known as Jennifer - who was found dead in a motel bathroom in Olongapo City. Laude had been strangled.

Witness Elias Gallamos said Laude entered Celzone Lodge on the evening of Saturday, October 11th with an “unidentified male white foreigner” aged between 25 and 30 with a marine “style of haircut.”

A friend of Laude said that after she met the foreign man in a nightclub, Laude became uneasy because the man hadn’t realized they were transgender. The friend also identified the marine in a photo lineup.

Vowing to investigate the allegations, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement:

“We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident. We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the Philippine National Police to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects.”

A report in May showed that 102 transgender people across 14 countries had been murdered up in the first five months of the year.

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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PHILIPPINES: Quezon City Council Bans LGBT Discrimination, Includes Affirmative Action

Quezon cityQuezon City Council has become the latest Philippines city to approve an ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT people, reports FRIDAE.

Late last month, Agusan del Norte passed a similar anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) that protects people irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

The ordinance was passed unanimously on September 29th.

The ADO improves on a 2003 resolution preventing discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace by providing venues to educate employers and educators on the rights of LGBT individuals.

Praising the inclusion of affirmative action in the ADO, Ging Cristobal, project coordinator for the Asia Pacific region of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and vice chairperson of the Quezon City Pride Council, said it will also be useful to everyone in the community, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

In an interview with Philippines LGBT magazine Outrage, Quezon Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte highlighted the importance of an ordinance that will protect the rights of LGBT individuals:

“There are many LGBT [people] in our city, and I believe they are such a strong and important force in our city’s progress and development. There’s so much they can do for the city if we help them.”

 


Philippine Province Among First In Country To Ban LGBT Discrimination

Agusan del norteAgusan del Norte has become one of the few areas in the Philippines to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) that protects people irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, reports Outrage.

Provincial Ordinance No. 358-2014 also prohibits discrimination in the province on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, health status, physical appearance, political affiliation, religion, and social status.

The ordinance “recognizes as a policy...to value the dignity of every human person and guarantee full respect of human rights to promote equality and to effectively eliminate all forms of discrimination that violate and offend the guarantee of equal protection of human rights.”

The ADO prohibits denial of services; refusing admission/dismissal from educational institutions; denial of access to use private and public establishments, facilities and utilities; employment rejection; publication and/or use of derogatory/humiliating images and/or statements against persons; and uploading/posting of images and/or videos online to debase and humiliate a person.

BacasmasYsang Semacio Bacasmas [pictured right], executive officer of LGBT rights group Ladlad Caraga Inc., said:

“I feel very happy and at least we now have this that can help our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQIA community. To our fellow LGBTs, hopefully we continue the fight for us to have a peaceful and good lives.”

According to HapiHumanist.org, Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch reported that a total of 103 killings from 1996 to 2011 in the Philippines have occurred on account of sexual orientation.


Founder Of Internatonal Gay & Lesbian Review Guilty Of Sex With Underage Boys - VIDEO

Walter Lee Williams

Walter Lee Williams, the founder of the International Gay & Lesbian Review, has pleaded guilty to having sex with underage boys he met online, reports The Desert Sun.

Williams was a Fulbright Scholar, a tenured professor at the University of Southern California, and the founder of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives. His 1998 book The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, won the Gay Book of the Year Award from the American Library Association, The Ruth Benedict Award from the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists, and the Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the World Congress for Sexology. Jpeg

According to the FBI, under the guise of academic research, Williams traveled to the Philippines and elsewhere to have sex with underage boys. Ten victims between ages 9 and 17 have been identified.

He pleaded guilty last Friday to one federal count of engaging in illicit sexual contact in foreign places.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a prison sentence of no more than five years, 10 years of supervised release, lifetime registration as a sex offender and $25,000 in restitution to be divided between seven of his victims.

Richard L. Arlington, a one-time roommate of Williams’, was arrested last year in connection with the case. Arlington, who shared illicit computer images of children with Williams, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and will be sentenced November 17th.

Williams and Arlington were members of the Buddhist Universal Association in Los Angeles, which advocated for “extreme sexual freedoms,” according to the FBI.

District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez set December 15th for Williams’ sentencing.

Watch a 2013 FBI report on Williams' arrest, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Terrifying Footage of Typhoon Haiyan Storm Surge Caught on Video: WATCH

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 11.28.46 AM

Staff members for the international children's aid organization Plan rode out Typhoon Haiyan on the 2nd floor of a house less than a few hundred meters from the sea in the Philippine province of Eastern Samar.

Wrote Plan Philippines Community Development worker Nickson Gensis:

"Six of us took refuge on the top floor of a boarding house. Five were praying and I was filming. The others called me to pray with them but I said that I needed to document this. Three of our group were male and we all wore trunks so that we could swim if we needed to. We were so scared. But I thought, 'if I die, so be it'. It was like a huge tsunami but the water receded quickly afterwards. We ventured downstairs and outside around noon. I took shots of the boarding house we had been in because I was so thankful thank it protected me. At 2pm I started work, travelling to assess the damage to villages supported by Plan. I realised as I was taking notes while talking to people that I was shaking."

Nickson filmed jaw-dropping footage of the storm surge in action, AFTER THE JUMP...

And to find out how you can HELP victims of the storm, visit planresponds.org.

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