DOJ chief Guevarra : Only 4 of 139 Duterte pardons granted to foreigners

DOJ chief Guevarra : Only 4 of 139 Duterte pardons granted to foreigners


The granting of a presidential pardon to the convicted US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton has caused a lot of noise from the different sectors of society – critics of the Duterte administration, LGBT community, different human rights organization, and some celebrities from the entertainment industry.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra cleared the insinuations of everybody questioning the act of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The President has only granted only four out of the 139 pardons issued went to foreign nationals.

(photo credit to owner)

The DOJ Secretary said two of the pardoned foreigners were covered by a prisoner exchange agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The other 135 pardoned inmates, he said, were Filipinos.

"This number is much more than the total number of pardons granted under the previous administration. Mas maluwag ang presidente [sa] pagbibigay ng pardons," DOJ Secretary Guevarra told ANC.

The clarification was issued because earlier this week President Duterte granted a presidential pardon to the convicted US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, the perpetrator and murderer of  Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.

The pardon extinguishes his criminal liability, less than six years since he was detained. Pemberton was sentenced to imprisonment of six to 10 years in 2015.

The pardon came as a surprise for everybody as government prosecutors were about to contest a court order for the US marine's early release on account of deductions to the time he has to serve over "good conduct."

DOJ Secretary earlier said "no one prompted" President Duterte to pardon Pemberton. Even the US Ambassador seemed "surprised" by the development, he said. 

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Report from GMA News

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