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US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton / Photo Courtesy of BI

Pemberton to face court martial in US

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US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton will face court martial proceedings in the United States.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that American authorities have promised that Pemberton will face court martial upon his arrival in his home country.

"Ang pangako po nila, kung makakalabas si Pemberton, ibig sabihin matatapos lang ang proseso sa Pilipinas, pero pag-uwi raw po ni Pemberton, tuloy pa rin iyong kaniyang court martial proceedings (They promised that even if Pemberton is released and the process is finished in the Philippines, once he goes back [to US], the court martial proceedings will continue)," Roque said in a press briefing.

Roque said the court martial proceedings will also determine if there will be additional penalties to be imposed against Pemberton and if he is still qualified to remain in service.

Pemberton was deported on Sunday and “perpetually” banned from reentering the Philippines.

He was granted an "absolute pardon" by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sept. 7, a few days after Olongapo RTC Branch 74 Presiding Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde ruled in a decision issued on Sept. 1 that Pemberton has a total accumulated time served with an entitlement of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) of 10 years, one month, and 10 days.

Pemberton was convicted of homicide and sentenced to six to 10 years imprisonment by the same court in December 2015 for the killing of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude on Oct. 11, 2014.

Roque, during the same briefing, said Duterte did not give a promise to the Laude family that Pemberton would not be released during his presidency.

"Ang alam ko po, walang ganiyang promise ang Presidente. Ang pangako po ni Presidente ay bibigyan ng katarungan ang pagkamatay ni Jennifer Laude, at nakulong naman po si Pemberton nang halos anim na taon (As far as I know, the President did not give such a promise. The President's promise is to bring justice to the death of Jennifer Laude, and Pemberton was imprisoned for almost six years)," Roque said.

He, however, confirmed that Duterte gave financial assistance to the Laude family three times, but the chief executive never met the family.

"I can confirm the President gave them financial aid three times, pero iyong halaga bahala na po ang -- huwag na nating isapubliko dahil ayaw ngang ilabas sana ni Presidente iyong tulong niya sa Laude family (but I won't disclose the amount because the President doesn't want to publicize the aid he has given to the Laude family). Pero ang tulong po niya ay tulong naman po sa lahat ng nangangailangan (But his assistance is his help for all those who are in need)," he said. 

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