On Monday, just days after a Filipina court stunned the world by ordering the early release of former U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, President Duterte pardoned the convicted killer of transgender woman Jennifer Laude.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Embassy did not immediately respond to questions by the Washington Post on whether the pardon had been requested by the U.S. government.
Opinion: This outrageous injustice was undoubtedly facilitated by loser Trump hoping to pander to his right-wing trans hating extremist base during the election year.
Following his partying on board his ship the smirking criminal proudly displayed his arrogance in the 2014 mug shot further enraging the LGBT worldwide community.
We wanted to believe time would wipe that smirk off his face, but we were wrong.
Pemberton broke Jennifer Laude’s neck while drowning her in a toilet after he had sex with her. Despite the police investigation which identified his actions as a hate crime Pemberton’s defense got the charge of murder (life without parole) dropped to homicide and the sentence reduced from 12 years to 6 to 10 years.
Joseph Pemberton served 6 years in a Marine staffed solitary confinement facility in downtown Manila, not a notoriously violent Filipino federal prison.
The unrepentant, unapologetic killer will get his record expunged and get out after serving a total of 6 years which includes his preconviction confinement.
The pardon was first announced on Twitter by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr., and later confirmed by presidential spokesman Harry Roque according to the Washington Post
Cutting matters short over what constitutes time served, and since where he was detained was not in the prisoner’s control—and to do justice—the President has granted an absolute pardon to Pemberton. Here at the Palace.
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) September 7, 2020
Roque was a former lawyer for the Laude family and just last week had denounced the court decision. But on Monday, he told the press that the president “does not need to give a reason” for his decision, “because granting pardon and parole is not a function of the judiciary, but of the executive.”
In a televised address on Monday evening, Duterte argued that Pemberton should be released because there were no reports that he had behaved badly while incarcerated.
“We should allow him the good character presumption,” he said.
He added that he had informed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra of his decision. “I said . . . ‘You have not treated Pemberton fairly,’ ” Duterte said. “ ‘So I will release him.’ ”
The Laude family lawyer Virgie Suarez called the pardon“revolting” and “a mockery of our judiciary and legal system.” She previously said that there was no proof of Pemberton’s reformed moral character, such as a committee evaluation or documentation of exemplary deeds.
“There are too many Filipino convicts, already in their twilight years serving their sentence,” Suarez said. “Why give it [the pardon] to a foreigner, a U.S. soldier who committed an atrocious crime?”
“There is so much disrespect in the manner in which Jennifer was killed, reflective of the disrespect the U.S. has for the Philippines’ democracy and sovereignty,” she added.