MANILA – Prison officials on Thursday formally received the official copy of the absolute pardon granted by President Rodrigo Duterte to US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton.
“BuCor has received from the DOJ (Department of Justice) a copy of the absolute pardon granted to PDL (person deprived of liberty) Pemberton and has now started processing his release,” BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaglag said in a message to reporters.
He added that the BuCor is now coordinating with “relevant agencies that are involved in the process.”
On Wednesday, Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said they will implement the summary deportation order issued by the bureau’s board of commissioners on Sept. 16, 2015, against the American serviceman once he is turned over by prison authorities.
Aliens ordered deported are required to submit clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation and regional trial courts that they have no more pending criminal or civil cases.
In a public address on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte said he granted Pemberton absolute pardon because he believes that he was not treated “fairly” while detained because his good conduct time allowance (GCTA) credits were not recorded by Philippine authorities.
He said it was not Pemberton’s fault that his GCTA was not recorded, noting that the Marines could have reported to the Department of Justice (DOJ) if he was misbehaving, but they did not.
Pemberton was convicted of homicide on Dec. 1, 2015, for the killing of Jennifer Laude at a motel in Olongapo City in October 2014. (PNA)