THE Department of Justice yesterday vowed to exhaust all legal remedies to prevent the release of US serviceman Joseph Scott Pemberton who was convicted of killing transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.
“Our trial prosecutors are still drafting their motion for reconsideration, but I expect that jurisdictional issues, apart from the divergence in Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) computation, will be included in the motion for reconsideration,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
“If the trial court, which ordered Pemberton’s release from detention, would deny the DOJ’s motion for reconsideration, it is expected that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) would take up the next legal steps to prevent the release,” he continued.
Just the other day, Guevarra disclosed that the DOJ will file a motion for reconsideration before the Olongapo City regional trial court in connection with the release of Pemberton.
“We will file our own motion for reconsideration next week. We hope that the OSG will join the DOJ in our motion,” Guevarra said.
Last Wednesday, the Olongapo City RTC ordered the release of Pemberton.
The court granted Pemberto’s bid for release after serving 10 years, one month, and 10 days including good conduct time allowance.
Also, the court noted that Pemberton has already paid in full the monetary damages to victim Laude’s family amounting to P4. 6 million.
Prior to his release, Pemberton served five years and eight months of his original sentence of 10 years. But because of the GCTA 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.