• Melo Acuna

Pemberton deported Sunday morning

Pemberton deported, forever banned from returning to the Philippines

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) confirmed the deportation of convicted American solider Joseph Scott Pemberton after being released from prison.

Pemberton, who was convicted for the killing of transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014, has been banned for life from returning to the country.

Pemberton was deported boarded a military aircraft bound or the United States at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 9:14 A.M.

“As a consequence of the deportation order against him, Pemberton has been placed in the Bureau’s blacklist, perpetually banning him from coming back,” thus said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

He said Pemberton has been in the Bureau of Immigration’s blacklist since September 16,2015, when he was ordered deported by the BI’s Board of Commissioners for being an undesirable alien, after being charged for murder, and later convicted of homicide.

The order was signed by then Immigration Chief Siegfred Mison, and Deputies Gilberto Repizo and Abdullah Mangotara. Pemberton was said to have filed a motion for reconsideration in November 2015, which was denied.

The resolution stated that Pemberton’s continued stay in the Philippines is not conducive “for the safety, welfare, happiness, or good order of Philippine society.”

“His criminal case is separate from his immigration case,” said Morente. He added the Bureau saw that he is a risk to public safety, having been found guilty of the crime so he was tagged an undesirable alien and will be expelled from the Philippines.

The Bureau of Immigration ordered Pemberton’s deportation less than three months before the Olongapo court rendered its verdict, which found him guilty of homicide and sentenced him to 6 to 12-years in prison.

Earlier this month, the Olongapo Regional Trial Court found Pemberton’s release inevitable as he was considered to have completed his sentence. Custody was turned over the Bureau of Immigration for the implementation of Pemberton’s deportation.

Commissioner Morente said they coordinated with the Bureau of Corrections for his turnover to agents upon Pemberton’s release.

He added Pemberton underwent regular processing and booking procedures and was required to secure clearances from required government offices, and present a travel document as well as outbound travel arrangements prior to his deportation.

Pemberton was escorted by BI agents to ensure that he has boarded his aircraft.

“Should he attempt to reenter the country after his deportation, Pemberton will be denied entry and will be excluded,” Morente concluded.

The U. S. Embassy in the Philippines said the Philippines’ Department of Justice authorized the release of Lance Cpl. Pemberton on September 1 and was granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte last Monday, September 7.

“All legal proceedings in the case took place under Philippine jurisdiction and law. Lance Cpl. Pemberton fulfilled his sentence as ordered by Philippine courts and he departed the Philippines on September 13,” the US Embassy in Manila disclosed.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the incident that involved LCpl. Pemberton is “an isolated case.”

“That does not embody the totality or the intend of training with our American counterpart – or with the armed forces of other countries for that matter,” said Major General Edgard Arevalo, AFP Spokesman said in a statement.

He added for every part of the training, “stringent measures were put in place” along with strict regulations to guide the conduct of the individual participant or of the entire contingent.

Similar lectures are given to Filipino troops who visit or take part in education and training abroad.

However, he said there could be on or two from among the many training participants who deviate from established norms and desired conduct.

“The lesson that the recent incident tells everyone is that no one is about the law, and that for any misconduct or transgressions, they will be punished accordingly,” Major General Arevalo further said.

Lance Cpl. Pemberton’s lawyer said his client expresses his deepest gratitude to President Duterte for granting him an absolute pardon which he described as “act of compassion.”

Atty. Rowena Garcia-Flores said to the family of the late Jennifer Laude, Pemberton extends “his most sincere sympathy for the pain he caused.” While in detention, Pemberton said he spent much time contemplating the many errors he committed on the night of October 11,2014.

“He wishes he had the words to express the depth of his sorrow and regret,” Atty. Garcia-Flores quoted Pemberton. (Melo M. Acuña)

US Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton escorted by Bureau of Immigration agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport shortly before 9:00 A.M. Sunday. (Bureau of Immigration Photo)

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