APPARENTLY bowing to American pressure, err, lobbying, Pres. Duterte granted “absolute pardon” to US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton.
Pemberton was found guilty for the killing of transgender, ‘Jennifer Laude’ in 2014 and was in detention since then.
But unlike any convicted killer who had to sweat it out in the hell-hole that is our prison, he was detained at the Philippine Marines headquarters in Fort Bonifacio. As the offspring of Uncle Sam, he expected— and received— ‘special treatment.’
No matter what the critics say, President Duterte is right doing what he did because it is within his power and prerogative to grant pardon, absolute or conditional, to anyone.
This issue will blow over in a few days, dear readers.
Recall that when PGMA also granted absolute pardon to Pres. Erap in 2007, we also heard a lot of noise but because there is nothing illegal about it, things settled down, eventually.
But here’s our unsolicited advise to Malacañang: If it thinks that giving this “favor” to the Americans would earn their gratitude, that is far from happening.
For as we all know, America has no permanent friends, only permanent interests.
And from our own experience, Pres. Marcos was a personal friend to Pres. Ronald Reagan but Marcos was deposed in 1986, under the Reagan administration.
Similarly, it was Pres. Erap who acceded to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which became effective in 1999, one year after he became president.
And yet, the Americans never showed “gratitude” to Erap for effectively allowing them to occupy again any Philippine territory that they want. In 2001 Pres. Erap was deposed, his illegal removal with the full backing of Uncle Sam.
Anyway, if Pres. Duterte can pardon a foreigner such as Pemberton, then there is no reason that he cannot also pardon former Philippine Army Major General Jovito Palparan.
As we know, Palparan was in jail for the disappearance of two former UP students who, we now have reasons to believe, are to be raw recruits of the New People’s Army.
And despite sacrificing so much for this country, this true patriot and professional soldier is doing time at the hell-hole we call the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, among the most rotten and despicable characters produced by our society.
Why an American soldier who came here to ravage our women was given special treatment during his detention and why the government can close its eyes to the miserable plight of a military general known for his commitment to democracy also tells a lot on how far our sense of fairness has degenerated.
Here’s hoping that over the angst generated by Pres. Duterte’s pardon of Pemberton, something good comes out it.
For if the President can justify his decision over the Pemberton case, he can also easily justify the release and pardon of Gen. Palparan.
Why don’t we give a try, Mr. President?