Malacañang yet to release pardon documents for Pemberton release: BuCor

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2020 02:47 PM | Updated as of Sep 09 2020 03:03 PM

MANILA — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said Wednesday it has yet to receive documents from Malacañang that would allow it to process the release of homicide convict Joseph Scott Pemberton after he was granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

BuCor spokesman Gabriel Chaclag told ABS-CBN News that Pemberton remains detained in Camp Aguinaldo, the Philippine military's main camp, in Quezon City.

"Nasa JUSMAG (Joint US Military Assistance Group) detention facility pa rin siya. Ready na po ang BuCor na gawin ang kaniyang duties once na ma-receive natin ang copy ng pardon. Na-update na rin po natin ang ating records," Chaclag said in a text message.

(He is still at the JUSMAG detention facility. The BuCor is ready to perform its duties once we receive the copy of the pardon. Our records have already been updated.)

On Tuesday, a day after Duterte granted Pemberton absolute pardon, the BuCor took mugshots and fingerprints of Pemberton to update its records. The photos were released to the media.

Chaclag said he has no idea where Pemberton will be brought after his release from the detention facility in Camp Aguinaldo.

"Kasama yan sa coordination na gagawin natin today kung saan siya itu-turn over."

(Part of the activities we will be coordinating on today is where he will be turned over.) 

Pemberton's lawyer Rowena Garcia Flores said she was hoping that her client would be released "this week."

Pemberton killed Filipina transgender woman Jennifer Laude on Oct. 11, 2014 inside an Olongapo City motel, north of the capital Manila, after finding out that the latter had male genitals after an intimate act.

A hotel staff found Laude's body wrapped in a bed sheet, with her head slumped in the toilet bowl. A forensic pathologist testified that Laude died of asphyxia.

Pemberton was sentenced in December 2015 to 6 to 10 years in prison for homicide over the slay of Laude.

But last week, he was declared eligible for early release by an Olongapo court, citing good conduct, a development that led to Duterte's decision.