MANILA — Convicted killer US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is now a free man following six (6) years of detention in a special facility inside the Philippine military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
According to the Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval, Pemberton was deported from the Philippines at 9:14 am on Sunday, September 13.
Pemberton is a free man now in the Unted Statesbut he remains blacklisted in the Philippines on account of his conviction for homicide owing to his involvement in a crime of “moral turpitude.”
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete explained that if one is blacklisted based on moral turpitude, the person “may apply to lift the order of blacklisting 10 years after its implementation.”
The American soldier was convicted of homicide in the 2014 killing of transgender woman Jennifer Laude in a motel north of Manila.
On September 11, government agents went to him in Camp Aguinaldo to process his documents including the absolute pardon given him by President Duterte to the consternation and surprise of Filipinos especially Laude’s family whom PRRD extended financial help before.
Before PRRD gave him absolute pardon, a Regional Trial Court in Olongapo City earlier ordered Pemberton’s release as the American serviceman has accordingly served out prison sentence on account of the GCTA (good conduct time allowance) law.
Pemberton’s send-off was later done as discreetly as possible, as the family of his victim is given a check for $94,000 (P4.56 million)* in court-awarded civil damages.
The Laudes, as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), appealed the court ruling, but on the first day of hearing the appeals on September 7, Duterte stepped in and cut the process short by giving Pemberton absolute pardon, which cannot be appealed. (IA)