Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that he cannot speculate on President Rodrigo Duterte’s motives for granting absolute pardon to convicted US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, advising the public, instead, to just move on.
“I cannot speculate on the President’s motives. He has explained his reason for granting pardon to Mr. Pemberton. For me that’s the end of the story. Let’s move on,” Guevarra said.
Earlier, Guevarra defended Duterte’s decision and explained that the president must have had basis for terminating Pemberton’s criminal case, who killed Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.
Gueverra supported Duterte’s decision that even shocked outgoing US Ambassador Sung Kim in their meeting.
Duterte, Guevarra, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Presidential Assistant and Senator Bong Go were present in the said meeting.
Duterte pardoned Pemberton even though the DOJ prosecutors’ filed a complaint before the Olongapo City court protesting the US Marine’s early release.
Duterte defended his decision saying Pemberton was not treated fairly.
Guevarra was also asked if the pardon was fair for the Laude family, he simply said that the matter is already “closed.”
“My sentiments are irrelevant. I defer to the personal judgment of the president on matters within his constitutional prerogative,” he said in a message to reporters.
Pemberton is currently detained at Camp Aguinaldo while the Bureau of Immigration is finishing his deportation proceedings.
After completing the deportation process, Pemberton can leave the country freely. RJ Espartinez