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The Release of Joseph Scott Pemberton

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The Release of Joseph Scott Pemberton
« on: September 03, 2020, 10:25:42 AM »
By GMA News
LOOK: The early release of Joseph Scott Pemberton, the American soldier convicted in the Philippines for the killing of Filipina Jennifer Laude, is questionable, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, Roque, who served as counsel for the victim's family, pointed out that the allowance for good conduct should have the recommendation of  the jail warden or Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

“Ang sabi sa batas ang allowance for good conduct dapat nirerekumenda ng BuCor o kaya jail warden. Pero dahil siya ay nakulong sa ginintuang hawla, wala namang ganyang rekumendasyon,” he said.

Roque said only the Olongapo court recommended Pemberton’s early release.

“Dapat meron rekumendasyon. Ang nakakapagtataka paano siya nagkaroon ng allowance for good conduct eh wala naman siyang ibang kasama doon sa ginintuang hawla niya,” he said.

“Ang kasama niya ibang mga Amerikanong sundalo rin na para bagang every day na walang nangyari,” Roque added.

The Olongapo court's ruling on Pemberton's release is dated September 1.

The court convicted Pemberton of homicide in December 2015 for killing Laude, a transgender woman, and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. The ruling was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Laude's family has asked the trial court to reconsider the release order.

According to Roque, Laude’s family lawyer, Virgie Suarez, pointed out in a motion for reconsideration that Pemberton was not even under the custody of the Philippines when the trial was ongoing to be cited for good conduct allowance.

“Yung panahon na siya ay nahuli at nililitis, hindi dapat bigyan ng allowance for good conduct, kasi hindi po siya nahawak ng Philippine jurisdiction,” Roque said.

“Ang may hawak sa kanya noon ay mga Amerikano. Eh bakit mo bibigyan ng allowance for good conduct, hindi mo naman alam kung ano ang naging asta niya noong panahong ‘yun dahil hawak siya ng kapwa Amerikano niya?” he asked.

Laude, 26 at the time of the crime, was found dead in the bathroom of a Celzone Lodge room in Olongapo City on October 11, 2014. She was last seen alive with Pemberton.

The court said Pemberton had served a total of 2,142 days and earned 1,548 GCTAs. Taken together, this amounts to 3,690 days, or 10 years, one month, and 10 days -- more than the 10-year maximum penalty imposed on him, the court said. | File photo with report via Joviland Rita/GMA News Online

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