MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte should certify the anti-discrimination bill as urgent to "appease" the LGBT community after he issued an absolute pardon for a US soldier who murdered a transwoman, Sen. Imee Marcos said Tuesday.
Duterte drew flak on social media Monday evening after executive officials confirmed that the President allowed the early release of US Marine and homicide convict Joseph Scott Pemberton who killed Jennifer Laude in a motel in Olongapo in 2014.
"The outcry against Pemberton's pardon despite the horrific killing of transgender Jennifer Laude will never be fully appeased until the bills on SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) are passed by Congress and signed into law," Marcos said in a statement.
"Now it behooves us to guarantee that violence against the LGBT+ community and other victims of discrimination is never repeated," she said.
The SOGIE bill - which penalizes those who would discriminate on the basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression - was not passed in the 17th Congress.
While it has been refiled in the 18th Congress, the Senate has yet to tackle the anti-discrimination bill.
Last year, Duterte said he would certify as urgent an anti-discriminatory bill, but not necessarily the SOGIE measure.