Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (File photo)
MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said he does not any see any problem in having pardoned US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton deported from the country.
“If there was already a final deportation order against Pemberton, and he is not contesting it, then so be it. Either way, he’s out.” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.
His remarks came after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that it will implement a deportation order against the US serviceman once he is turned over to them by the Bureau of Corrections.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said they will implement the summary deportation order issued by the bureau’s board of commissioners on Sept. 16, 2015, against Pemberton for being an undesirable alien.
Aliens ordered deported are required to submit clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 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.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who was then a legal counsel of the family of victim Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude, said granting absolute pardon cleared the issue on whether or not Pemberton was entitled to GCTA.
Pemberton was convicted of homicide on Dec. 1, 2015, for the killing of Laude at a motel in Olongapo City in October 2014. (PNA)