Labor group hits ‘special treatment’ for Pemberton

Dec. 04, 2015

​DAVAO CITY – The labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno picketed the Department of Justice in Manila calling for the immediate release of two labor advocates and condemned the alleged special treatment to US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, on Thursday.

The KMU said that “it is a huge injustice that Pemberton, who was convicted of homicide for killing Jennifer Laude on October 2014 is able to evade imprisonment in the National Bilibid Prison while two labor rights defenders have been languishing in jail.”

The detained labor rights advocates, Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano, are both organizers of government employees’ unions, Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE). They were detained since December 3, 2012.

KMU said that both were innocent of the charges filed against them and are being prevented by the government from organizing government unions.

Chairperson of KMU, Elmer Labor said, “A Republikang Basahan (Rag of a Republic) cannot possibly have a real justice system. It will always defend foreign troops who oppress its people and it will always oppress activists who are trying to defend its people.”

Labog said that “an American soldier who was convicted by the courts for killing a Filipino is able to evade imprisonment in Philippine jails while labor activists have been languishing in jail for years now.”

“That shows you how rotten the so-called justice system in the country is,” Labog said.

The group also condemned the DOJ for “bowing down to the US’ assertion that Pemberton remain with his American escorts and not be surrendered to the Philippine National Police and that he remain in Camp Aguinaldo and not brought to the NBP.” (

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