On Monday, Duterte issued a pardon to Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, who has been in prison since 2014 for murdering Jennifer Laude.
Virginia Suarez, a lawyer for the Laude family called the decision a “mockery” of the justice system.
According to BBC, the former marine has been granted early release for good behavior. There is no announcement of a release date at this time.
“This is another injustice, not only to Jennifer Laude and family, but a grave injustice to the Philippine people. This is a travesty of Philippine sovereignty and democracy,” said Suarez.
According to the Guardian, Pemberton was on leave when he met Laude and her friends. She was later found dead in a motel room. A witness told investigators Pemberton said he choked Laude after discovering she was transgender.
He claims she was still alive when he left the room.
The case strained ties between US and the Philippines, since Pemberton served his sentence on a US military base instead of a Philippine prison.
Bahaghari, a Filippino LGBT rights group tweeted: ” For as long as the US maintains hegemony over our military, economy, and politics, there will be no #JusticeForJennifer and for the Filipino LGBTQ+.”