Pemberton to remain in military compound while BI takes over custody for deportation processing

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Pemberton to remain in military compound while BI takes over custody for deportation processing
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

MANILA, Philippines — US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was granted pardon over killing US transgender woman Jennifer Laude, will remain in his detention facility in Camp Aguinaldo while authorities process his release and eventual deportation.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Pemberton will be transferred to the custody of the Bureau of Immigration from the Bureau of Corrections on Friday morning.

But Pemberton will remain in his detention facility at the Joint US Military Group compound, Camp Aguinaldo. Only this time, BI personnel will stand guard over him instead of the BuCor.

“This morning, we are expecting the transfer of custody over the person of Pemberton from BuCor to BI so the BI can implement the deportation order from 2015,” Guevarra told TeleRadyo on Friday.

In a separate statement, BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag is due for release from their bureau’s custody at 11:00 a.m. “BuCor staff assigned thereat will now be recalled to the [New Bilibid Prison],” he said.


BI personnel however would still have to wait for a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation since this is one of the requirements for deportation. Guevarra said he expects the NBI clearance to be sent to BI personnel on Friday.

“While that process is being finished, Mr. Pemberton will remain in his detention at the JUSMAG facility... He will stay inside Camp Aguinaldo until such time that the flight arrangement has been made,” Guevarra added.

He explained that the US Embassy would be arranging Pemberton’s flight out of the country, and it is only after details on this have been set, will authorities move Pemberton to the airport.

The DOJ chief also said that Pemberton would not be handcuffed but would be heavily guarded on his way to his flight.

“BI personnel need to escort him (Pemberton) from JUSMAG until he arrives in the airport, up to the departure gate. After that, US personnel will take him to whatever aircraft has been arranged,” the DOJ chief also said.

He added that while he personally has not seen Pemberton, he agrees in allowing one or two media personnel to cover his departure to quell doubts on whether the US convict has been in detention all along.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in a surprise move on Monday, said he is grating pardon to Pemberton just as government lawyers contested the Olongapo court’s release order for the American convict through his Good Conduct and Time Allowance. Duterte’s decision, which cannot be reviewed, effectively rendered the court proceedings moot.

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