JUSTICE Undersecretary Markk Perete yesterday said that the Bureau of Corrections will stop processing the release order of US serviceman Joseph Scott Pemberton following the filing of a motion for reconsideration by the family of slain transgender woman Jennifer Laude.
“The MR (Motion for Reconsideration) would have to be resolved first. The BuCor cannot preempt court action on the MR by prematurely releasing Pemberton,” Perete, the concurrent spokesperson of the Department of Justice, said in a Viber message to reporters.
“The BuCor will await the reso (resolution) on the MR, ” he said in a subsequent message.
Earlier on Thursday, Atty. Virginia Suarez, counsel of the Laude family, said that she will ask the Bureau of Immigration not to allow Pemberton to leave the country pending a ruling on their motion for reconsideration before the Olongapo City regional trial court.
“It should be the case. All orders of court become final and executory only after 10 days,” she said.
On Wednesday, the Olongapo City regional trial couordered the release of Pemberton.
The court granted Pemberto’s bid for release after serving 10 years, one month, and 10 days that included his good conduct time allowance (GCTA).
Also, Olongapo RTC Judge Roline M. Ginez-Jabalde noted that Pemberton has already paid in full the monetary damages to Laude’s family amounting to P4. 6 million.
The court ordered the Bureau of Corrections to release Pemberton unless he was being held on other charges.
Prior to his release, Pemberton served five years and eight months of his original sentence of 10 years. But because of the good conduct time allowance rule, 1,548 days or more than four years were credited to him, hence, Pemberton accumulated 10 years, one month, and 10 days.
Recently, the Supreme Court granted Pemberton’s motion withdrawing his petition for review seeking to overturn his conviction.
Pemberton had asked the high court to review the Court of Appeal’s decision affirming the ruling of conviction handed down by the Olongapo City RTC.