BuCor ordered to say whether Pemberton can avail of GCTA

A court in Olongapo ordered the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to settle whether or not convicted US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is eligible to avail of good conduct time allowances (GCTA).

Virginia Suarez, the lawyer for the family of Jennifer Laude, made the statement after a court hearing on the Laudes’ motion seeking to stop Pemberton’s release from prison.

“The court issued an order for the BuCor to update the computation or for the BuCor to really say whether or not Pemberton can actually avail of the GCTA,” Suarez told reporters.

The lawyer criticized the release order of Pemberton since she says “there’s no good conduct that can ever be attributed” to the convicted US marine. Pemberton was released through the  (GCTA).

Atty. Suarez claims that Pemberton is a “privileged” prisoner whose good conduct was “never put to a test.”

“Remember kahit ikulong mo si Pemberton di mamapektuhan yung ating mga prison cells dahil nakahiwalay siya. The very purpose of GCTA is to declog the prisons, di ‘yun mangyayari dito kay Pemberton because he is imprisoned sa very special and privileged facility,” she added.

BuCor ordered to say whether Pemberton can avail of GCTA

In its September 1 release order, the Olongapo RTC Branch 74 stated that Pemberton has a “total accumulated time served with entitled of GCTA of 10 years, one month and 10 days which is more than the 10-year maximum penalty imposed by this court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA).”

However, Suarez argued that based on the Bureau of Correction’s (BuCor) computation, the marine still had “another 10 months” to serve. She also pointed out the lack of a recommendation from the management, screening, and evaluation committee, which is required under the GCTA law.

Prior to his supposed early release, Pemberton paid the family of slain transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer”  P4,655,250 in civil damages after he withdrew his appeal on his conviction in the Supreme Court.

Pemberton’s counsel, lawyer Rowena Garcia-Flores, delivered the check to Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of the Regional Trial Court Branch 74. The payment was made under the name of Marilou Laude, Jenifer Laude’s sister.