The lawyer of US Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton admitted she had no clue as to how and why President Rodrigo Duterte granted the US Marine an absolute pardon after he was convicted of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.
According to Pemberton’s lawyer Rowena Flores, she “didn’t really personally apply for any pardon from the President” for her client.
“I didn’t know that any was forthcoming or that anybody filed an application for pardon in his behalf,” she told ANC.
Flores added she only learned Duterte granted absolute pardon to Pemberton from media reporters.
“I don’t really know what happened,” Flores said when asked if this could have been an agreement between Manila and Washington.
President Duterte “has the discretion and the power, authority to grant moto propio or on his own, a pardon,” the lawyer said.
Her client, she said, was “very happy” when she asked Pemberton about the pardon over the phone.
“He’s like a sort of teenager when it comes to talking, and he wouldn’t really tell you long sentences, and he wouldn’t discuss in details his emotions, but I could hear that he’s very happy from his voice,” said Flores.
Lawyer of Pemberton no clue on why Duterte pardoned US soldier
Pemberton was sentenced to six to ten years in prison for homicide in connection with the killing of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.
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).”
“‘Pag walang record di mo malaman kung nabilang ba o hindi. Pag ka ganon hindi kasalanan ni Pemberton. He is not required to keep a record of his own and characterize his behavior while inside the prison,” Duterte said.
(Without a record, you do not know whether it is counted or not. If so, then it is not Pemberton’s fault.)