Fil-Am activists outraged by Pinay transgender killing

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 14, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – The news of the killing of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude has outraged Filipino American activists throughout the United States.

Faye Lacanilao of BAYAN-USA is saying Laude’s death could have been avoided if not for the bilateral visiting forces agreement between the Philippines and the United States.

“The soldier who is responsible for her murder is not even in custody right now,” said Lacanilao. “He is being protected under the Visiting Forces Agreement which we’ve seen time and time again to really hurt the Filipino people more than it promised to protect us. We call on the Filipino government to end the Visiting Forces Agreement, end the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that they recently signed because it’s not benefiting us.”

Tina Shauf of GABRIELA-USA says the death of Laude speaks of the continuing violence against transgender women, and those responsible should be held accountable.

“GABRIELA-USA is outraged and saddened by the news of the murder of Jennifer. We find this very reminiscent of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith in the 2005 historic rape case of Nicole. Jennifer’s death is not only a direct impact of U.S. military presence in the Philippines but her brutal murder further exposes the daily vulnerability of trans-women who regularly suffer systemic violence and hate crimes. More U.S. troops can only mean more cases of violence against women and children. Trans-women like Jennifer are at a higher risk for violence because we live in a system that de-legitimizes their lives. Although there is an increase in violence towards trans-people worldwide little is ever done to protect their lives and to hold the perpetrators accountable. The murder of Jennifer is clearly a hate crime committed by U.S. personnel and he is must be held accountable by the Philippine justice system.”

BAYAN AND GABRIELA say Laude’s death is similar to the Subic Rape Case in 2005 involving a Filipina named “Nicole” who was allegedly raped by U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith.

Smith was later found guilty of rape by a Makati court but was released in 2009 after the Court of Appeals reversed the decision after Nicole gave a statement exonerating Smith of rape charges.

Nicole was last known to be in the United States after the U.S. embassy granted her a visa.

“It’s similar to what we fear for with Jennifer. What we don’t want for her to happen is that her murderer gets away as a free man and gets back here in the United States and gets called a hero for serving in the U.S. military,” said Lacanilao.

BAYAN-USA urges Filipinos worldwide to join them in condemning the killing of Laude and demanding justice for her and all victims of US militarization.

BAYAN is also planning to rally this Wednesday Oct. 15 in front of the Philippine Embassy in New York and in San Francisco.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Pedro
    15 October 2014 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Gustong makatikim nang ari nang Amerikano, ayon napatay siya. Si Amerikano naman gustong tumikim nang Pinay, ayon bakla pala ang nakuha.

  • Kuya
    16 October 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Be honest to the people you meet and be faithful to your lover. You must remember that no one wants to be cheated okay?

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