On September 7th, 2020, fascist president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte granted an absolute pardon to a US-imperialist soldier in the 2014 murder of a trans woman, Jennifer Laude. The pardon serves as a reversal of policy for Duterte, who had previously promised to not release the murderer, Joseph Scott Pendleton. This has drawn the justified rage of the Laude family, the broad masses (particularly the LGBT masses), and even from some bourgeois politicians.
This absolute pardon was criticized by Kabataan Makabayan, part of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, as “the latest in a long list of acts of betrayal against the Filipino nation.” The Laude family released a statemend describing it as “another hallmark of Philippine’s subservience to the U.S.” and that it displays “the systematic discrimination and violence inflicted by U.S. to Filipino women, children and the LGBTQ community.”  It is clear that the Duterte regime cares more about appeasing the imperialist demands of the so-called nited states than protecting its own people. The regime has hundreds of political prisoners, held on made-up charges, who have not been granted the same treatment as the amerikkkan murderer of a trans woman.
Pendleton was in the Philippines as part of the Philippines–United States Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), an agreement made in 1999 and reaffirmed in February of 2020, after a decision to suspend the termination of the agreement. The VFA also prohibits US-imperialist soldiers from being tried Filipino courts. Prior to the murder of Jennifer Laude, there was a case of four US-imperialist soldiers sexually assaulting a Filipina woman, who were later acquitted in court, likely as appeasement to the imperialist forces. The VFA was brought to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, but then dismissed.
The only solution to this is the immediate withdrawal of US-imperialists from the Philippines and the ousting of the US-Duterte regime! The broad masses of the Philippines have been struggling against the VFA and imperialist agression for decades, with this struggle led by its Communist Party, the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. We stand in solidarity with this struggle against imperialism, fascism, and against violence towards trans people!
Only through people’s war can these struggles be won!
Smash imperialism! Smash fascism! Smash transmisogyny!