The lawyer of Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton said the results of his COVID-19 test is delaying the US Marine’s release and deportation after receiving an absolute pardon from President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Kung meron pa pong mga requirements yung Bureau of Immigration, hindi ko po alam. Pero isa pa pong nagdi-delay ay yun pong resulta ng COVID test sa kaniya,” said lawyer Rowena Flores, told Unang Balita in an interview on Friday.
She said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) told them the results could be released in three to seven days.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko po ang RITM ang magti-test po, very busy po sila ngayon so three to seven days pa raw po,” she said.
The lawyer earlier said she expects her client to be released by Friday but she explained they have to get a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as a requirement for Pemberton’s deportation.
“Hindi pa po siya makakaalis ngayong araw na ito, kasi kailangan pa niya ng NBI clearance. Kukunan po siya ng fingerprint atsaka ng picture ng NBI today,” she said.
Flores explained the NBI clearance is needed to ensure that Pemberton is not facing any charges in the Philippines before he is deported.
The lawyer also said a US military plane would take Pemberton, once released, to either Guam or Hawaii.
Pemberton’s release, deportation
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente earlier said he already asked Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) Director Gerald Bantag to turn Pemberton over to the BI the moment he is released from prison so that his deportation could be implemented and his immediate departure from the country could be arranged and facilitated.
Morente explained that the BI is dutybound and mandated to implement a summary deportation order that the bureau’s board of commissioners issued against Pemberton on Sept. 16, 2015, for being an undesirable alien.
“At any rate, we are awaiting instructions from our Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra for guidance on how we will implement the deportation order in a manner that is within the prescribed laws of the country” he added.