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Duterte grants executive clemency to Jennifer Laude’s killer

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has granted absolute pardon to former US Marine Joseph Pemberton, who was convicted for killing Jennifer Laude in 2014.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. made the announcement in a tweet Monday afternoon.

“Cutting matters short over what constitutes time served, and since where he was detained was not in the prisoner’s control—and to do justice—the President has granted an absolute pardon to Pemberton. Here at the Palace,” Locsin wrote on Twitter.

Malacañang also confirmed this in an interview, saying that Pemberton can now return to his home country.

“Makakalaya na si Pemberton. Wala na pong isyu kung siya ay entitled sa GCTA (Good Conduct Time Allowance). Wala na pong isyu kung applicable sa kanya ang batas dahil hindi siya nakulong sa national penitentiary. Binura na po ng Presidente kung ano pang parusa na dapat ipapataw kay Pemberton,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, who once served as the private legal counsel for the Laude family.

“Ang hindi nabura ng Presidente yung conviction ni Pembertom. Mamamatay tao pa rin siya. pero kung ano ang karagdagang parusa pa ay binura na ng Presidente,” added Roque.

The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 earlier ordered the early release of Pemberton based on good conduct. The American soldiers has only served half of his 10-year maximum sentence.

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