JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday expressed relief that the saga of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was deported by the Bureau of Immigration on Sunday morning, was finally over.
However, Guevarra admitted that the controversy brought about by the killing of transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2015 has “left lots of things to ponder on.”
“I am relieved to see the end of the Pemberton episode. Though attended with intense conflict, it has provided valuable insights and lessons to ponder on regarding the future of the Visiting Forces Agreement, the administration of criminal justice, and the exercise of the president’s constitutional powers, “Guevarra said.
Pemberton was deported several days after he was pardoned by President Duterte for the death of Laude in 2014.
According to a press statement released by the Bureau of Immigration, Pemberton was deported and boarded a military aircraft bound for the United States, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, at exactly 9:14 a.m. Sunday.
“As a consequence of the deportation order against him, Pemberton has been placed in the Bureau’s blacklist, perpetually banning him from coming back,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
Meanwhile, lawyer Virginia Suarez, counsel of the Laude family, yesterday wished Pemberton that “he may find the peace of mind.”
“May he find peace of mind. Hoping he has learned from all these the value of life and dignity regardless of gender and nationality,” Suarez said.