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Pemberton to be deported after prison release
In this photo taken September 3, soldiers stop vehicles as part of tighter security at Camp Aguinaldo, where homicide convict US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton is detained.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Pemberton to be deported after prison release

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - September 9, 2020 - 2:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — US Marine L/Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, convicted on killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude, will be deported after clearances are secured, the Bureau of Immigrations said Wednesday.

Justice Undersceretary Markk Perete confirmed that Pemberton has a pending deportation order. Information from the immigration bureau said the order was issued against Pemberton on Sept. 16, 2015, “for being an undesirable alien.”

“He will be deported by the [BI] once he is released by the Bureau of Corrections... There is already coordination between BuCor and BI on how to effect the transfer of custody for the purpose of effecting the deportation,” Perete said.

READ: Duterte grants Jennifer Laude's killer Pemberton an absolute pardon

BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag said Tuesday that Pemberton’s release would be “expedited,” but assured that they will “not skip” any step of the process for releasing.

Lawyer Arvin Santos, BI legal division chief, said foreign nationals up for deportation are required to secure clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation and regional trial court as proof that there is no more pending criminal and civil cases against them.

Immigration Comissioner Jaime Morente said they are still waiting for instructions from Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on how Pemberton will be deported.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also said they will be taking instructions from Guevarra. “I have ordered [Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces] under me that we follow DOJ,” he wrote on a tweet.

The American convict's case is covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement. Under this treaty, Pemberton served his prison sentence in a detention facility at Camp Aguinaldo, instead of at the national penitentiary.

President Rodrigo Duterte granted Pemberton pardon on Monday, effectively rendering moot the court proceedings opposing the American convict’s release order through the Good Conduct and Time Allowance law.

With the grant of pardon, “there is no more legal impediment or obstacle to Pemberton’s departure from the Philippines,” BI said.

Duterte granting pardon to Pemberton drew criticism and outrage from rights groups, and even Vice President Leni Robredo who questioned whether the decision was fair and just.

BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE JOSEPH SCOTT PEMBERTON
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