'Nagpatawad siya': DOJ sees no need to question Duterte pardon for Pemberton

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2020 11:55 AM

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday he did not see any reason for the public to question President Rodrigo Duterte's "personal act of mercy" to pardon a US soldier who killed a Filipina transgender woman. 

There were no reports that US Marine Scott Joseph Pemberton committed prohibited acts ever since he was detained after the October 2014 killing of Jennifer Laude, whom he met at a bar while on break from military exercises in the northern city of Olongapo, said Guevarra. 

The President “presumed that he (Pemberton) must have been acting very well”, the Justice Secretary told ANC. 

“We don’t have to force him (Duterte) to take a look at all the documents first before you make that decision," he said. "Iyon ay kaniyang personal decision. Iyon ay kaniyang personal act of mercy. Who are we to question that?" 

Pemberton's case does not fall under impeachment, an exception to the grant of executive clemency, he said. 

"I do not see any reason why the people should object to his exercise of a personal judgement. He exercised an act of grace. Nagpatawad siya. I think everyone of us should be able to appreciate ang isang tao na marunong magpatawad sa kaniyang kapwa," Guevarra said. 

(He forgave. I think everyone of us should be able to appreciate a person who can forgive his fellow man.) 

ANC, Sept. 9, 2020