Convicted killer US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton has been officially released and deported from the Philippines at 9:14 am today according to the Bureau of Immigration.
This was after the absolute pardon granted to him by President Rodrigo Duterte after being incarcerated in a special facility for six years after viciously murdering Jennifer Laude.
Atty. Virginia Suarez, the lawyer of the Laude family said, “May he find peace of mind. Hoping he has learned from all these the value of life and dignity regardless of gender and nationality.”
“Jennifer’s case has ended. But not the poverty and struggle borne by the Administration’s incompetence to curb Covid and corruption that continue to plague our nation,” Suarez added.
The media was restricted to enter Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to document Pemberton’ departure. Personnel from the military and the US embassy strictly escorted Pemberton’s deportation process.
Absolute pardon, Laude’s family shocked
The family of the slain Jennifer Laude along with the Department of Justice and the Office of Solicitor General appealed the court victory of Pemberton that gave him full credits under the Good Time Allowance law that may grant him an early release.
Duterte however intervened at the first day of the appeals granting Pemberton an absolute pardon which cannot be appealed.
This sudden move by the President shocked the Laude family with Jubilita Cabillan saying, “Siya pa mismo nagbigay ng tulong pinansyal noon dahil masaya raw siya na pinakipaglaban namin ang kaso dahil sabi niya na hangga’t siya raw ang nakaupo, hinding-hindi niya papayagan na makalaya si Pemberton,”
The lawyer of Joseph Pemberton did not expect the pardon as well stating that she was already planning for their next move before hearing the news of her client’s sudden pardon.
Photo from Rappler.com