Convicted killer Pemberton to face court martial proceedings in US: Roque

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2020 05:00 PM

Convicted killer Pemberton to face court martial proceedings in US: Roque 1
Convicted killer US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, 25, goes through final immigration procedure in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City before proceeding to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for his deportation on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Immigration

MANILA--US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton will face court martial proceedings in the United States even though he was pardoned by President Rodrigo Duterte for killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who previously served as legal counsel for the Laude family, said he was informed about this by US authorities.

Pemberton was deported to the US on Sunday, nearly a week since he was granted "absolute pardon" by President Duterte.

"Pag-uwi raw po ni Pemberton, tuloy pa rin 'yung kanyang court martial proceedings at doon po malalaman kung mayroon pang additional na parusang ipapataw sa kanya at 'yung kanyang qualification to remain in service," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

(Pemberton will still face court martial proceedings and that will determine additional penalties and his qualification to remain in service.)

Duterte last week said he granted absolute pardon to Pemberton because the foreigner was not given fair treatment by Philippine authorities.

The American serviceman was sentenced in December 2015 to 6 to 10 years in prison for homicide and was deemed by a local court as eligible for early release under a law that shortens jail time due to good conduct.

Pemberton killed Laude on Oct. 11, 2014 at a motel in Olongapo City, north of the capital Manila, after finding out that the latter had male genitals following an intimate act. Her body was found wrapped in a bedsheet with her head slumped in a toilet bowl.

A forensic pathologist testified that Laude died of asphyxia.

Pemberton was in the country at the time the crime was committed for a military exercise involving Philippines and US troops.