Vice President Leni Robredo questioned Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte’s pardon of Pemberton, describing it as unfair and unjust.
“Isa lang ang kasong ito sa maraming patunay ng pagkiling sa makapangyarihan na nakikita natin mula sa pamahalaan. Napakaraming mga Pilipino na mas magaan ang sala, ngunit hindi nabibigyang-pansin o nabibigyan ng ganitong uri ng pribilehiyo,” Robredo, a lawyer, said in a statement.
“Ang nakikita natin: Kapag mahirap, may parusa; kapag mayaman at nasa poder, malaya. We continue to hope that the President exercises his vast powers in a manner that is fair and that benefits the common Filipino,” she added.
President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised briefing that Pemberton is not at fault if the Philippine authorities were not able to monitor his behavior while he was in jail, adding the US soldier was not treated fairly.
“‘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.
Robredo: Duterte’s pardon of Pemberton unfair, unjust
(Without a record, you do not know whether it is counted or not. If so, then it is not Pemberton’s fault.)
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).”
“Ang tanong nga natin: Patas at makatarungan ba ang naging desisyong ito? Libo-libo ang nakakulong pa rin dahil walang pambayad sa abugado. Hindi malitis-litis ang kanilang mga kaso. May mga pamilya silang nagugutom, nagkakasakit, at naghihirap. Pemberton had lawyers, special detention facilities, a quick, public trial, and an appeal. Ngayon, lalong luminaw na mayroon din siyang resources para masigurong mabibigyang-pansin ng mismong Pangulo ang kaso niya,” she said.